BAGUIO CITY (July 2, 2020) – Several accommodation establishments in Ilocos Norte have reopened after a long hiatus because of the quarantines.
Over 90 hotels, resorts, and transient houses have been issued with Special Permit to Operate (SPO) by Ilocos Norte provincial government thru the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (INTO).
“Ongoing pa rin ang processing ng releasing of a special permit to operate para sa mga accommodation establishments. Ito ay special permit para sa mga bagong requirements na dapat i-comply ng mga establishments,” provincial tourism officer Ianree Raquel said, explaining further, “these were determined by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and provincial government. Kailangan nilang mag-apply ng Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) sa DOT, kasunod ang SPO sa (provincial government).”
The purpose of the re-opening of establishments should be identified before they are allowed to operate: as a quarantine facility for returning residents, accommodation place for Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR), or leisure.
Tourism was identified as one of the gravely affected sectors and accommodation establishments, specifically, have lost a significant part of their income especially during summer, which was supposed to be the biggest peak season in Ilocos Norte
“This time is difficult for accommodation establishments. Right now, we are mitigating the impacts of the pandemic as we are already towards our transition to the ‘new normal.’ We have talked to Governor Matthew Manotoc for the possibility of providing more programs for them along with travel agencies, tour operators, and other members of the tourism sector.
We’re finding a way to make sure that they can reopen and more importantly, dapat ma-lessen yung nawawalan ng trabaho,” Raquel emphasized.
He also reiterated the importance of safety in the establishments: “Our tourism sector is very resilient and we hope that everybody will prioritize safety no matter how difficult it is.
We continue to move forward because this is our best guarantee as we will be the ideal choice for travelers in the ‘new normal.’ Hopefully, we will recover. We are doing our best to find the best benchmark for the province.”
The provincial government continues to encourage accommodation establishments to register, as this will guarantee them continuous business operation under the “new normal.”
Artemio A. Dumlao