Baguio’s tourism is gradually regaining strength as the city allows more visitors to come inside the city despite the local government’s strict entry requirements.

For Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the Ridge and Reef tourism corridor program’s entry protocols are reasonable to reach the balance between reviving the economy and ensuring the health and safety of everyone.

Though there have been spikes in the number of Covid-19 cases in the city, Magalong is still keen on pursuing the tourism program, as the situation remains manageable.

“We should now move on from risk aversion to risk management. We should now be ready to take risks while ensuring that systems are ready to address any eventuality,” he says.

Baguio City

Image: Facebook/Public Information Office-City of Baguio

He further adds that Baguio City can manage the situation, with its high testing capability and contact-tracing efficiency ratio, despite the high number of cases.

According to City Tourism Operations Officer Aloysius Mapalo, they were able to receive a total of 179 travel requests, and 1,701 individual account registrations were made under the Visitors’ Information and Travel Assistance (Visita) platform, as of October 8. Of this number, there were 47 requests which are still pending approval, as of the moment.

“Pending travel requests may be disapproved, if requirements are not completed, prior to the intended date of travel,” Mapalo added.

PMA reunion

Meanwhile, the upcoming reunion early next year of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) will see a smaller number as only 300 alumni will be physically present to attend the event. This is to prevent the possible transmission of the coronavirus.

PMA Superintendent Vice Admiral Alan Ferdinand Cusi said that such limitation was requested by Mayor Magalong—a PMA alumnus himself.

Philippine Military Academy

Image: Facebook/Philippine Military Academy

The said event is tentatively scheduled for February 12 to 14, 2021.

During February, thousands of PMA alumni, mostly retired and active military officers, together with their friends and families, gather at Fort del Pilar in Baguio City to attend their annual reunion.