TOURISM DECLINE. The Bongolanon Falls in Barangay Bongolanon, Magpet, North Cotabato, continues to give awe and splendor to tribal villagers despite the absence of tourists due to the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. The local tourism office says the municipality has lost some PHP300-million tourism revenues to date due to the series of calamities that hit the province in late 2019 and the Covid-19 crisis this year. (Photo courtesy of Magpet Tourism Office)
MAGPET, North Cotabato — The local government unit (LGU) here on Friday said it has lost an estimated PHP300-million worth of revenues after its tourism destinations were closed amid the series of calamities late last year, followed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Karljone Tanaid, Magpet tourism officer, said the losses caused by the series of earthquakes in October last year and the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis have exacted losses on vendors, motorcycle operators, tourist guides, and the community enterprises being managed by the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in the municipality.
Tanaid said IP organizations use tourism revenues to fund more feasible projects to help improve communities.
“This time they went back to farming which is their traditional source of living, but their income went down”, Tanaid said in an interview by the Philippine News Agency here.
Magpet’s tourism is featured with customary practices and culture that reveal their genuine ethnicity as they mold awareness beyond their territory.
“We made a simple yet significant ambiance of tourism in packaging the whole picture of our community”, Tanaid said.
Magpet is known for its eco-tourism attractions such as waterfalls, developed landscapes, and Mt. Apo trekking.
Currently, the LGU has fully enforced the suspension of local tourist arrivals to abide by the Covid-19 minimum health protocols.
Tanaid said the LGU is now preparing interventions to support the affected sectors through agro-tourism and other viable livelihoods that could maximize their resources.
The town is also presently dealing with the hardships brought the entry of the contagious African Swine Fever to the local hog industry this month. (PNA)