Baguio clo­sure fake news

Sun.Star Baguio - - Front Page - Maria Elena Cata­jan Sun*Star Re­porter

BAGUIO City Mayor Mauri­cio Do­mo­gan de­bunked news on the clo­sure of the city.

In a video mes­sage posted by the city hall in­for­ma­tion of­fice, the mayor said news go­ing vi­ral over so­cial me­dia about the im­mi­nent clo­sure of the city to tourists and lo­cals is fake.

“This is not true that the Baguo City is go­ing to be closed from vis­i­tors and res­i­dents. There are a lot of news go­ing around that Baguio city is go­ing to be closed like what they have done in Bo­ra­cay,” said Do­mo­gan.

Days ago, a satir­i­cal site has pin­pointed the city to be closed like the fate of the tourist

is­land Bo­ra­cay, gain­ing a fol­low­ing and go­ing vi­ral, hook­ing a ma­jor­ity to be­lieve the fake news was true.

Do­mo­gan re­it­er­ated no di­rec­tives nor have of­fi­cial re­ports been given to the city on the al­leged clo­sure.

“We did not re­ceive any no­tice for that mat­ter and Baguio is not like Bo­ra­cay, yes, we have a lot of con­cerns in the City of Baguio but I re­peat there is no or­der,” Do­mo­gan said.

Do­mo­gan added the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity has been alarmed with the news cit­ing the Korean As­so­ci­a­tion has for­mally ap­proached him to ask if the news of the clo­sure is true.

“I tell you beloved con­stituents, ho­tel and restau­rant in­dus­try, it is not true, fake news yan, wala kami natang­gap na or­der and of­fi­cial news that Baguio will be closed,” Do­mo­gan clar­i­fied.

How­ever, the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the city has its ba­sis with for­mer Tourism Sec­re­tary Wanda Teo first an­nounc­ing a need for the city to un­dergo re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion backed by ad­vo­cate groups in the city who want to reg­u­late and stream­line con­struc­tion as well as man­age­ment of the city.

Cur­rent De­part­ment of Tourism (DOT) Sec­re­tary Ber­nadette Ro­mulo Puyat has like­wise is­sued state­ments on keep­ing Burn­ham Park as an open space, dis­al­low­ing build­ing of a park­ing fa­cil­ity.

The Sum­mer Cap­i­tal records tourist ar­rivals at 1,521,748 up by 17.52 per­cent vis-à-vis the 2016 data of 1,294,906 do­mes­tic and for­eign tourists.

This num­ber also sur­passed the na­tional pro­jec­tion of the DOT of 1,359,000 or 11.97 per­cent over the na­tional pro­jec­tion.

Coun­cilor Elmer Da­tuin, also in charge of the com­mit­tee on tourism said the al­leged clo­sure is fake news and there is a dis­claimer from the author. “Se­condly clo­sure can­not hap­pen be­cause we are not like Bo­ra­cay in sit­u­a­tion. Most prop­erty in Baguio are pri­vate in na­ture un­like Bo­ra­cay na gov­ern­ment owned with pri­vate ben­e­fi­cial users,” Da­tuin said.

Da­tuin added the city also does not have grossly ne­glected en­vi­ron­ment prob­lem but wel­comes the pos­si­bil­ity the na­tional gov­ern­ment will pour more funds for de­vel­op­ment of Baguio. “It’s about time that the na­tional gov­ern­ment in­fra spend­ing be di­verted and pri­or­i­tize in Baguio and the Cordilleras be­cause most of our tourism de­vel­op­ment funds are given in the Visayas area,” he said.

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