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CEBUANOS URGED: HELP FELLOW CEBUANOS
By: Eleanor Valeros, Mylen Manto | Published Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Gov. Gwen Garcia urged local government units, tourism stakeholders, and all Cebuanos in Cebu Island to support, cooperate and help fellow Cebuanos as the Province reopens its tourism-related activities soon. (Lito Tecson)

Cebuanos within Cebu Island are encouraged to help fellow Cebuanos in supporting the reopening of tourism-related activities in Cebu Province which will be done in accordance with the guidelines set in Executive Order (EO) 20-A.

Those living in areas under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) may use the Antonio Y. de Pio National Highway that connects the Municipality of San Remigio to other towns, as advised by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia in her virtual presser in Barili town on Monday, July 20.

The highway connects tourists from the northern towns to the southern towns passing by Tabuelan, Tuburan, Asturias, Balamban, Toledo City, Pinamungajan, Aloguinsan, Barili and on to Dumanjug, Ronda, Alcantara, Moalboal, Badian, Alegria, Malabuyoc, Ginatilan, Samboan, Santander and Oslob, among others, without passing by Cebu City.

Cebu City is currently under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) risk classification and the border restrictions between the Province and the City remain in place.

"Gikan sa Cebu North Hagnaya Wharf konektado na pasidung sa south gika'g San Remigio, agi sa Tabuelan, Tuburan, Asturias, Balamban, Toledo, Pinamungajan, Aloguinsan, Barili mo-cross via Mantalongon and maka-round south na," Gov. Garcia said.

"Lapad, sementado, so very, very doable thing (tourist travel from north to south)," she added.

The reopening of canyoneering, snorkeling, diving, parasailing, island hopping, waterfalls sightseeing, now including paragliding and all-terrain vehicle extreme ride, among others, is viable with the expected support of 3.2 million Cebuanos. 

"Dili man ta magdali og open. Sa isla pa lang sa Cebu we have our own market," she added. 

LGU, STAKEHOLDERS COOPERATION

In a meeting with tourism stakeholders in Daanbantayan town on Friday, July 17, Garcia also asked the cooperation of the Province’s local government units and stakeholders in the industry’s revival as a “health and wellness destination.”

She emphasized that tourism protocols must be strictly followed to prove that Cebu Province can lead the way in reviving the economy which was hardly hit by the pandemic. 

“There’s a risk, yes. But it’s either that or we perpetually close and we just go bankrupt, but I don’t know how long our money will last. And how much more can the people take,” the governor stated.

The Cebu Provincial Government will manage the online portal where guests will book for tour packages ensuring the number of tourists per site are controlled. 

Garcia clarified that the Capitol do not earn anything from the booking portal management.

“This is a service that we are extending for all stakeholders of the Province of Cebu. We need to control the number of people involved in this tourism activities. If we can do this in a disciplined manner then perhaps we can move on to low risk status,” she said, adding that the Province remains to be a medium risk MGCQ. 

The governor reiterated that the move to revive Cebu Province’s tourism industry is aimed towards reviving Cebuanos’ livelihood as well.

“This is a big gamble on my part, on your part. But I’m sticking my neck out on the line here because I know that you are suffering. Mao na, ato ning ibalik pero dili pud mura tag mga baka nakabuhi sa toril. Porke gi-ablihan nani nato ang tourism activities, hala pasagad rasad ta, dili na pwede. Ngano, naa may nagbantay nato. We are being watched very closely. I tell you and I’m already fighting as hard as I can for you guys. So please do your part,” she added.

Meanwhile, Garcia introduced the use of science and technology products which are readily available in the market, as additional safety measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 aside from the existing health protocols like physical distancing, and washing of hands, among others.

This is to give tourists the assurance that they are safe.

Garcia also encouraged resorts to provide all guests with healthy welcome drinks such as calamansi juice with turmeric and honey and other health regimen to boost their immune system.

The tourism consultative meeting in Daanbantayan town was the third in a series of meetings held by Garcia together with Provincial Tourism Officer Marti Ybañez to discuss the general guidelines of the Province’s reopening of tourism activities.

Also present in the meeting were officials of the Departments of Tourism, Trade and Industry, Health, Environment and Natural Sciences, and the Cebu Provincial Police Office, as well as Provincial Board Members Kerrie Keane Shimura, Horacio “Raci” Franco, and Francis Edward Salimbangon, and Daanbantayan Mayor Sun Shimura. (Eleanor Valeros, Mylen Manto)