BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Sagada decided on Thursday, February 13, to suspend all eco-tourism activities due to the threat of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Mayor James Pooten said in Executive Order 07-20 would be in effect indefinitely.
“There is an urgent need to protect the municipality of Sagada and its residents, being a top destination for tourists in North Philippines, from the threat of COVID-9 and similar strains by strictly implementing prevention and control measures,” the EO said.
Sagada was actually the last town in the Cordillera region to hold a festival before the threat became imminent. It held its Etag Festival in the last week of January with tourists in tow. Now it decided to be cautious in handling its eco-tourism industry.
However, Tracey Santiago, one of the boosters of responsible tourism in Sagada, said that all is not lost. Privately-owned tourist destinations remain open, she said.
On her Facebook wall, she listed alternative activities while the mayor's EO is in force:
Time to think of alternative tourism activities for Sagada. Some of my favorites whenever I'm there are: