Baguio City market opens for tourists

Mayor Benjamin Magalong announced on Thursday, October 1, his decision through a press conference to allow tourists inside the public market once borders open for visitors.

The mayor added crowding at the market will not be a problem as he assured there will be control measures in place.

Lawyer Zosimo Abratique, Baguio Market Vendors Association (Bamarva) president, welcomed the move of the mayor saying there will be close to 800 tourism-oriented stalls to benefit from the decision.

“Malaking effect nito sa sari sari, pasalubong at hangar areas kasi bagsak na bagsak na sila,” Abratique said.

The lawyer said tourism-orientated stalls have lost 90 percent of revenues since the community quarantine, while open sections claim a 30 percent drop in sales despite being allowed to operate.

When tourists will be allowed to enter the market, Abratique said social distancing and health protocols will be in place, adding each market section has action officers assigned to keep order.

Public Order and Safety Division personnel with assigned police officers will also aid in keeping crowds at the market, as well as enforce the adherence to health protocols.

Abratique said there have been no guidelines yet for tourist entry to the market and they are only awaiting word from the local government unit.

Under the program, tour packages are arranged by 15 accredited travel and tour agencies in Baguio City. A total of 82 accommodation establishments issued with certificates authorizing operation from the Department of Tourism in the Cordillera Administrative Region and local government are ready for the gradual return of tourism.

Tourists with incomplete documents, which include Covid-19 test results, will not be allowed entry.

Before visiting the Summer Capital, tourists are required to register and create accounts at Baguio Vista, a confirmed itinerary issued by a tour or travel agent; present a recent Covid-19 certificate of negative result issued by an accredited testing laboratory; and present a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or rapid antigen tests results issued not more than 48 hours prior to travel. Test results are valid for a five-day itinerary.

On Friday, the first two visitors were welcomed into the city, signifying the partial opening of borders of the city for Ilocos Region.


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