This Week News

This Week in Northern Luzon (July 18 to 24, 2020)

Baguio is still closed to tourists, while Ilocos Norte hotels have begun reopening.

By: Antonette Louise Guiao | July 18, 2020
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Northern Luzon, quarantine, Baguio, COVID-19, Quarantine Updates, Transportation News, Shopping News, Health News

Despite being placed under modified general community quarantine, the City of Baguio made it clear that its doors will still be closed to tourists. The city also launched a cashless system that will help minimize physical contact between transport workers and passengers. Meanwhile, the province of Ilocos Norte has allowed hotels to reopen and is polishing up its plans of putting up more COVID-19 testing centers in the area. Read on for the full details of these Northern Luzon news.

Quarantine Updates

Baguio still closed for tourists; city backs SONA filming

Last Friday, July 10, 2020, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong issued a warning to tour agencies who are accepting reservations while quarantine measures are still in effect in the city. He mentioned in a statement that the threat of COVID-19 continuously hovers in the city, and whoever gets caught violating the government restrictions shall be dealt with accordingly. As per the Republic Act 11469, anyone who disobeys the national government’s policies in regard to quarantine impositions by local government officials shall face imprisonment of two months or be fined not less than PhP10,000 but not more than PhP1,000,000.

Magalong has also released a statement regarding the arrival of director Joyce Bernal along with her film team in the city to shoot scenes for President Duterte’s upcoming State of the Nation Address. He said that the group complied with and submitted all the necessary requirements and health declaration forms, and was approved consequently. The team also followed strict safety protocols in Baguio City. The upcoming SONA will be featuring several areas that highlight Cordilleran culture. [1]

Hotels and other accommodation facilities start to reopen in Ilocos Norte

After the province was placed under modified general community quarantine, hotels and other accommodation establishments in Ilocos Norte have opened once more. Ilocos Norte Provincial Information Officer Rhona Daoang said that about 50 hotels and accommodation facilities have reopened in different areas in the province. In total, over 90 hotels, resorts, and transient houses have been issued with special permits to operate under MGCQ by the provincial government of Ilocos Norte. Reopening establishments must identify their purpose for resuming operations before they are allowed to operate as a quarantine facility for returning residents, accommodation place for authorized persons outside residence or APOR, or for leisure. [2]

Transportation New

Baguio City launches cashless fare system

Last July 13, 2020, the City Government of Baguio launched a cashless fare collection system at the City Hall flag raising rites. Along with SquidPay Technology Inc. Chief Operating Officer and President Enrico Tamayo, Mayor Benjamin Magalong signed the Memorandum of Agreement that formalizes the terms of the program. SquidPay Account Executive Officer Elmar Panganiban said that they have already conducted seminars with public utility jeepneys, taxis, and UV Express Service associations.

The city has pursued cashless transactions after the alarming rise of COVID-19 cases among transport workers. This new scheme will be using contactless, cashless, and seamless payment transactions through transport cards, near-field communication, or QR codes. [3]

Baguio City releases public advisory on “Angkas” or back riding for motorcycle riders in the city

Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano has announced that back riding or “angkas” shall be allowed for riders who are married, common law couples, or are in the same household. As proof of relationship, rides must present the following documents:

1. Photocopy of Contract of Marriage, accompanied by valid Government issued IDs
2. Valid Government issued IDs stating that they are staying at the same address or a Barangay Certification that they are spouses, either legally or under common-law, accompanied by valid Government issued IDs.

There must also be a protective barrier between the driver and the passenger, and both must wear protective gears like face masks and shields. [4]

Shopping News

Baguio City Vet assures safety of fish and meat

The City Veterinarian and Agriculture Office or CVAO of Baguio assured that the fish and meat products of the Baguio City Public Market are safe, clean, and fit for human consumption. Veterinarian Dr. Bridgitt Piok said that they are conducting regular inspections at the market to ensure the health and safety of the residents.

At least 74 individuals were cited for the violation of meat inspection laws and regulations during the first half of 2020. They were either penalized, fined, suspended, or were made to surrender their products for proper disposal. In order to guarantee that the market is a place where people can get food that is fit for human consumption, the CVAO checks certificates and shipping permits. They also check on the actual products. If the products are not deemed healthy, they are confiscated and disposed of.

Health News

Ilocos Norte plans to establish more COVID-19 Testing Centers

The province of Ilocos Norte is planning to set up more COVID-19 testing centers. Provincial Health Office Officer-in-charge Dr. Josephine Ruedas said that the province is in need of more COVID-19 testing centers to speed up the detection of positive cases. The province currently has two teams going around isolation centers to swab test people in quarantine. Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc has already approved the establishment of additional COVID-19 testing centers in strategic locations of the province. [6]

Visit Yoorekka for more updates on Northern Luzon.

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About Antonette Louise Guiao
Antonette is a writer, a night owl, an extrovert, and a BTS ARMY. Her spare time is consumed by drawing digital vector art, sleeping, binge-watching Netflix series, and learning how to cook. An adventurer by heart, she aspires to travel the world with her family, try extreme outdoor activities, and taste all sorts of food in different countries.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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