Cebu province to revive tourism industry while under MGCQ

The province of Cebu would soon resume popular tourism activities as it approaches its third week of being under a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced in a late night address on Wednesday, July 15, that Cebu province would remain under MGCQ for the rest of the month of July. He added that exceptions were the municipalities of Minglanilla, Consolacion and Talisay City, which would be in the stricter general community quarantine.

Sugbo News, the official news outlet of the Capitol Public Information Office, said earlier Wednesday that Governor Gwendolyn Garcia along with Department of Tourism- VII (Central Visayas) Director Shalimar Tamano met with resort owners in Southern Cebu for the second leg of consultations for the relaunching of the province’s tourism activities.

Under MGCQ, non-essential work gatherings and leisure activities are allowed so long as social distancing measures and established safety protocols are followed.

Panginabuhi ni sa libo ka-liboan ka Sugbuanon nga nawad-an og panginabuhian tungod aning Covid,” Garcia said according to Sugbo News.

(This is about the livelihood of the thousands upon thousands of Cebuanos who have lost their jobs due to Covid.)

Among the tourism activities that would be revived were whale shark watching, snorkeling, trekking, spelunking, diving and island-hopping.

The province was eyeing the use of ultraviolet germicidal light for sterilizing equipment and gears, and air purification technology for indoor facilities. This, coupled with ‘old traditional’ health regimens, as Garcia puts it, would be Cebu’s ‘two-pronged strategy’ for the revival of its tourism industry.

However, tourism establishments would still have to limit their accommodations to 50% of their original capacity as per the omnibus guidelines on the national COVID-19 task force.

Garcia was set to sign Executive Order No. 20-A which list Cebu Province's guidelines and protocols for tourism operations.

As of July 15, Cebu Province’s COVID-19 infections increased to 1,540 with 53 new cases tallied that day alone. This is according to official data from the Department of Health (DOH)- Central Visayas.

Cebu Province’s COVID-19 death toll is at 124. Meanwhile, its number of recoveries also increased to 549. –