Of­fi­cial open to ‘Bo­ra­cay-like’ re­hab of Baguio City

Sun.Star Baguio - - Top Stories - PNA

THE LO­CAL gov­ern­ment's main tourism man is open to sub­ject­ing this moun­tain re­sort city to re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, if only to get na­tional gov­ern­ment fund­ing for in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment.

"I think the city's clo­sure (ala Bo­ra­cay) is very un­likely. But only if it is for the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and de­vel­op­ment of struc­tures to help us boost the tourism in­dus­try, it might be wel­come,” Coun­cilor Elmer Da­tuin, chair of the city coun­cil's com­mit­tee on tourism ex­plained.

Da­tuin said fund­ing as­sis­tance for the de­vel­op­ment of struc­tures in the city would be a great help in boost­ing tourism in the Philip­pines' Sum­mer Cap­i­tal, es­pe­cially as the De­part­ment of Tourism (DOT) in Cordillera is push­ing for the so-called "cre­ative econ­omy" in the city.

“I think it’s about time they poured funds into the Cordillera,” Da­tuin said, adding the Visayas and Min­danao have been the fo­cus of na­tional gov­ern­ment re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ef­forts in the past years.

Ear­lier, DOT Un­der­sec­re­tary Marco Bautista ex­pressed a sim­i­lar opin­ion, say­ing it is time for the na­tional gov­ern­ment to at­tend to Baguio's re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

“In terms of en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and

sus­tain­abil­ity, Baguio has been left unat­tended, this city is vul­ner­a­ble to degra­da­tion," Bautista had said in a re­cent visit to Baguio.

Bautista said Tourism Sec­re­tary Ber­nadette Ro­mulo-Puyat has also been eye­ing the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of Baguio and other tourist spots in the coun­try af­ter Bo­ra­cay's six-month re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

On Mon­day af­ter­noon, Mayor Mauri­cio Do­mo­gan de­bunked spec­u­la­tions anew that Baguio would be closed to tourists to pave the way for re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

"We did not re­ceive any no­tice or di­rec­tive about the clo­sure of the city. This city is not the same as Bo­ra­cay,” Do­mo­gan stressed.

The mayor said he was ap­proached by the of­fi­cers of the Korean com­mu­nity in Baguio re­gard­ing the sup­posed clo­sure.

He as­sured tourists, es­pe­cially those who have made ear­lier reser­va­tions in the city’s ho­tels, that they will be prop­erly re­ceived and guided when they visit Baguio.

Photo by Jean Ni­cole Cortes

SAY CHEESE. Fam­i­lies en­joy tak­ing pho­to­graphs at the Baguio Coun­try Club's Christ­mas vil­lage. De­spite the ru­mored clo­sure of Baguio City, tourist con­tinue to flock the high­land re­sort es­pe­cially with the de­clin­ing tem­per­a­ture which is ex­pected to de­cline in the com­ing days.

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