Cebu province relies on residents for tourism revival

Cebu province’s tourism will have to rely on the support of residents, considering the lack of inbound international travelers.

This was stated by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia in a video released by Sugbo News, the Cebu Capitol Public Information Office's official news site. 

"3.2 million ta. We have our own market sa isla pa lang sa Cebu. Sa probinsya pa lang sa Cebu, 3.2 million na ta," she said.

(We are 3.2 million. We have our own market in the island of Cebu alone. In the province of Cebu alone, we're already at 3.2 million).

Cebu province was placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) on July 16, while its component city Talisay and the municipalities Consolacion and Minglanilla were put on general community quarantine (GCQ).

Since June, Garcia has already expressed her desire to put the economy back on its feet through the revival of the tourism industry. She had been quoted multiple times saying the relaunching of tourism activities is not a leisure activity but an economic feat.

Currently, guidelines and protocols for the relaunching are still being ironed out. 

In the same Sugbo News video, Garcia said that the relaunch was possible since movement from one MGCQ zone to another is allowed as per COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) guidelines.

It was, however, clarified that this leniency in travel excludes Cebu City, which is still under the more restrictive modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) with 3,267 active cases as of July 22. 

Cebu City, although not under the jurisdiction of the Cebu province, is still in the same island as the majority of the latter’s cities and municipalities. 

In a different video posted by Sugbo News, the Cebu Provincial Government announced that locally stranded individuals (LSI) in Cebu may now also be allowed to travel back to their home local government units (LGU) so long as they are travelling from one MGCQ area to another. In the video, Garcia stressed that this excludes Cebu City.

"Ang LSI sa Cebu City, dili pa pwede kagawas. So, suspended gihapon. Apan, sa uban nga mga dapit, basta MGCQ to MGCQ, allowed na na," Garcia said. 
(LSI from Cebu City aren't allowed to leave. So their travel is still suspended. But, for other areas, so long as it is MGCQ to MGCQ, it is now allowed.)

Garcia is also set to meet with governors of other islands under MGCQ to discuss inter-island travel between their respective LGUs.

As of July 22, the province's active cases are at 1,696, as it tallied 87 new cases that day alone. COVID-19-related deaths also reached 148.

As of July 23, the Philippines recorded 2,000 new cases overall, bringing the total to 74,390. – Rappler.com