The local government of Baguio City approved the proposal to increase the number of tourists allowed in the city from 500 to 1,000 per day.
“We’re allowing na rin ‘yung transient houses as long as they already cert and issued a certificate of compliance,” City Tourism Officer Alec Mapalo said.
The decision was made after City Tourism Office consulted with hotel operators, the Department of Health, and Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
According to the DOH data, there were over 20 new COVID-19 cases in the city on December 7. It also recorded a 13.5% positivity rate, higher than the World Health Organization’s 5% ideal rate.
DOH admitted that the increase in the number of infections started after Baguio city accepted tourists from nearby provinces in October.
However, the health department also said the spike in new infections could be due to the government’s intensified COVID-19 testing and contact tracing efforts.
“Ang Baguio City, they are very aggressive in testing, no, in contact tracing and testing. They’re constituents ‘yung mga tao sa city. So maaring may epekto rin sa positivity rate kapag marami kang nate-test na individuals,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
Baguio now allows 1,000 tourists per day
“Although, we cannot discount the fact na marami ‘yung nagpo-positibo. So kailangan talaga pong bantayan,” she added.
Mapalo added the number of COVID-19 cases in Baguio was manageable. He added the triage centers were prepared to ensure that all visitors would be tested.
He also reminded tourists to observe health protocols while visiting the city.
The city government pushed for the reopening of the Baguio night market to reopen the economy and bring back the livelihood of the displaced vendors following the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Magalong said that businesses reopening should not compromise the health and safety of the people.
“We must strike a balance between reopening the economy and safeguarding the health and safety of the people. This is our new normal direction.” the mayor said.