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The Department of Tourism in the Cordillera Administrative Region (DOT-CAR) said Tuesday, January 26, that it is “currently investigating” a “reported party at a DOT-accredited establishment in Baguio City.”
“A Notice to Explain has already been issued to the establishment,” the DOT further noted.
Despite inquiries by the media, the tourism department did not say which establishment it was referring to, nor did it mention when the “reported party” happened and who attended it.
Over the weekend, however, screen recordings of Instagram stories posted by several prominent Metro Manila-based personalities showed them attending an opulent birthday party for events host and social media personality Tim Yap. Most of the attendees in the videos that have been circulating on social media were not wearing masks, nor were socially distanced.
Several of these stories, which are no longer available on the accounts of those who first posted them, have been reposted on social media. Some of the screen recordings indicate the party was held at The Manor at Camp John Hay in Baguio City.
Yap earlier posted a photo of himself over the weekend at The Manor at Camp John Hay, wearing an all white outfit “mixed with Cordillera accoutrements,” according to his own caption.
In a January 26 interview on TV Patrol, Yap admitted to throwing and organizing the party.
He said his goal was to “promote Baguio” and push local tourism. He added that all guests tested negative for the coronavirus, since it was a requirement for visitors entering the city.
He also insisted that guests had their masks on until it was time for dinner – which was also when the dancers arrived. He didn’t explain why guests didn’t put their masks back on to join the “community dance,” however.
Baguio City has been slowly reopening itself to tourism activities while imposing minimum health standards such as physical distancing and mask-wearing.
The DOT earlier released a statement on the “Baguio party incident,” wherein they reminded both tourists and businesses to follow minimum health protocols. They later rescinded that statement to say that the DOT-CAR was investigating the “reported party.”
Baguio is located in the province of Benguet, which is part of the CAR.
The CAR has been under monitoring due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and the increasing rate of hospital occupancy in the region. – Rappler.com