The Pangasinan Provincial Board has crafted an ordinance that prescribes specific guidelines for the reopening of tourism in the province amid COVID-19 pandemic.
Authored by Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Margielou Orange D. Humilde-Verzosa, Provincial Ordinance No. 254-2020 passed the special session on December 17, states that “the impact of COVID-19 pandemic has been greatly felt by all sectors of society including tourism industry.”
Approved by Governor Amado I. Espino III after thorough review, the ordinance pointed out that
“Pangasinan is endowed with variety of tourist attractions but it is important to curb the spread of COVID-19 while at the same time managing the reopening of the tourism industry and the recovery of the economy in the province.
It was stated in the said ordinance that the Pangasinan Tourism Recovery Committee, chaired by BM Verzosa and co-chaired by Provincial Administrator Nimrod S. Camba, shall continually convene to review and monitor policies, protocols, and guidelines and to recommend appropriate measures and programs to ensure a safe and responsible tourism in Pangasinan.
In Section 5 of the ordinance, it was noted that Pangasinan residents are allowed to visit public parks, spaces and tourist attractions for leisure purposes while following minimum health standards, subject however, to various local impositions and restrictions including health and safety protocols set by the local government unit (LGU) destination.
It also stated that persons below 15 years of age or those who are over 65 years old shall not be allowed to travel. Pregnant women, persons with existing high-risk health conditions and co-morbidities, minors who have medical complexity, neurologic, genetic, metabolic conditions, or who have congenital disease are also prohibited from traveling.
In addition to this, Pangasinan residents who will travel shall be required to present the following during their visit to a local destination: 1) valid ID, 2) medical certificate issued by the Rural Health Unit point of origin, 3) approval of travel registration from the Online Visitor Registration System (OVRS). For further inquiry on OVRS, one may inquire from the local Tourism Office of each town/city in the province.
Guidelines for tourists, on the other hand, stated that for Phase 1 of the travel corridor, only residents of the provinces of La Union, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte and the City of Baguio shall be allowed to travel to Pangasinan with the exemption of those mentioned in Section 5 (please refer to the aforementioned clause of the ordinance) along with the tourists from outside Region 1 and Baguio City, and those tourists from MECQ and ECQ areas within or outside Region 1.
Travel requirements, protocols to be followed before, during and upon travel are also mentioned in the ordinance together with the guidelines for tourism establishments, tourist sites, tour operators and tour guides and the like.
A copy of the ordinance for the information of the public is posted on the official Facebook Page of the Province (www.pangasinan.gov.ph) /Ruby R. Bernardino