Bataan town sees influx of 300K visitors as resorts reopen

Bataan town sees influx of 300K visitors as resorts reopen

BAGAC, Bataan – The local government here is anticipating some 300,000 people trooping back to beach resorts amid the downtrend in cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in this mountainous town adjacent to the West Philippine Sea.

Municipal administrator Nick Ancheta said on Wednesday they have now permitted the reopening of all beach resorts in this town that is known for its beautiful beaches.

“Kami-meeting ko noong nakaraang linggo sa mga resorts at pinayagan na sila ni Mayor Ramil del Rosario na mag-operate kahit medyo kulang ng requirements para maka-rebound dahil dalawang taon silang walang income (We held a meeting with the resort owners last week and Mayor Ramil Del Rosario allowed them to operate even though they lack a few requirements in order to rebound because they had no income for two years),” he said in an interview.

Instead of being strict, Ancheta said the mayor decided to give the resort owners leeway to be able to recover from their losses.

He said the resorts are now operating even with or without permits.

“Nakakaawa naman kung hindi sila makakasabay sa takbuhan ng mga tao ngayon kaya kung may pera by September 2022 ay unti-unti na nilang kumpletuhin ang kanilang requirements (It is a pity if they will not be able to accommodate the people now. If they have money by September 2022, they can gradually complete the requirements),” Ancheta said.

He noted that going to the beach resorts has no restrictions.

“Basta simple lang ang requirement sa bisita — magdala lang ng vaccination card. Walang mangyayari kapag ipinatupad ang masiyadong mahigpit na restrictions (The requirements for visiting is simple. Bring the vaccination card. Nothing will happen if the strict restrictions will be implemented),” he said.

Candy Torres, Bagac Tourism Officer, said 40 beach resorts belonging to the Bagac Beach Inland Resort Owners Association are now operating.

Meanwhile, Ancheta said the municipality has only one remaining active Covid-19 case and that it was even zero the other day.

He advised visitors and residents to still wear face masks, observe social distancing and follow health protocols.

Ancheta attributed the slowdown in Covid-19 cases to the massive vaccination being done in the town.

He said they are now undertaking the inoculation of children aged 5 to 11 years old, while noting that public schools in the municipality have also started with their limited face-to-face classes.

Ancheta said that prior to the pandemic, they received close to 300,000 visitors per season.

“Ito ang target naming muling maibalik pero sa ngayon alam namin na ang mga taong nagpupuntahan sa resort ay medyo may takot pa at hindi pa gaya ng nakaraan. Pero unti-unti iyan bigyan lang ng isang season, baka hanggang December ay mag-function na (This is the target that we aim to bring back but as of now, we know that people going to the resort are still a bit scared and not yet like in the past. But, gradually, given one season, maybe until December, it will function),” he said. (PNA)

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