Mayor issues new traffic ordinance to end 'Sagada Carmageddon'
BAGUIO, Philippines – Right after Christmas, Sagada Mayor James B. Pooten signed Executive Order No. 37-18 “strictly implementing” its traffic ordinance to control the influx of tourists.
Pooten signed the EO last December 26 to avert the “Sagada Carmageddon” which became a weekend scourge this December. Tourists are advised to walk or take public transport.
The EO penalizes those parking or obstructing traffic on all major roads, sidewalks and other passages in Sagada from 6 am till 8:30 pm. Their license plate will either be removed or driver licenses confiscated until they pay P500.
Also included will be those leaving their vehicles on "hazard" for more than ten minutes.
“With the limited road network coupled by the huge volume of road users during the peak season, tourists are highly advised to park their own vehicles at designated parking areas and walk to the different tourist sites or take local public transport,” said Pooten.
As early as December 21, the Church of St. Mary the Virgin approved to close the church gate at 8 pm and open it only at 5 am.
Entry to the Echo Valley through the mission compound will only be by foot, the traffic enforcement team said.
The Sagada LGU also issued its tourist guidelines last December 17 regarding transport:
- Only local transport shall be allowed to ferry tours to tourist sites so as not to create traffic in the destinations.
- All tourist vehicles are required to park their vehicles all throughout the duration of their stay in their hotel parking area or in pay parking areas and avail of the local transport to visit the different sites.
- Tourists are obliged to walk around town to visit shops, restaurants and nearby tourist spots.
The rest of the guideline is as follows:
- Tours in and around Sagada must only be run by the local guides' organizations: SEGA, SAGGAS, SETGO, KIGA, ASSETG and BFTAMPGA for Northern Sagada.
- Travel agencies, groups, and individuals must register for the tours at the Tourist Information Office.
- There will be a limited number of tourists allowed per site per day, so make sure you book your tours earlier.
- All tours require a guide. A tourist who does not have a guide will not be able to enter the site.
- Only LGU-registered and DOT-accredited hostels/inns/homestays under the Sagada Inns and Hotels Association (SIHA) will be allowed to operate for tourist accommodations.
- Please follow standard prices for accommodation in Sagada. No haggling and no free beds.
ON WASTE MANAGEMENT:
- Bring your own refillable water tumblers. Disposable water bottles are not allowed.
- Throw your garbage at designated disposal areas.
- Travel agencies/tour groups must bring out their garbage upon leaving Sagada.
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