It is said that hard work never goes unnoticed, and this has been true for Baguio City, whose local government and frontliners have been praised for their dedication. The city also assured that it will keep its doors closed to tourists unless other areas in the country have completely flattened the COVID-19 curve. Despite imposing strict safety measures for almost four months now, some Baguio residents still violate the guidelines. Read on for more details on these and other Northern Luzon updates.
Baguio City’s Anti-COVID Measures lauded by the World Health Organization
The World Health Organization (WHO) gave a nod to Baguio City’s health measures against COVID-19. Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center is one of the first hospitals outside Manila that was tasked to conduct contact tracing of COVID-19 transmissions. After displaying strong leadership, good communication direction, and teamwork, the hospital’s frontliners were praised by WHO.
Meanwhile, City Mayor Benjamin Magalong was appointed as one of the country’s COVID-19 tracing czar by the Malacanang. Private doctors in the area also put up a laboratory which became the second accredited COVID-19 facility in the province. Nonetheless, the WHO still advised Baguio City to prepare for “possible surges” in infections, as it is currently happening in Metro Manila. 
Baguio City will remain closed until NCR and Central Luzon flatten the curve
Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong announced that the province will keep its doors closed until the National Capital Region, Region III (Central Luzon), and Region IV (CaLaBaRZon) completely flatten the COVID-19 curve. This was discussed during a presentation on the Baguio Visitors Management System (BVMS) by City Tourism Officer Aloysius Mapalo.
Magalong stated that almost 45% of the city’s tourists come from the mentioned regions based on a survey conducted last September 2018 to April 2019. The City of Baguio will not be risking the health and safety of its residents to revive its tourism-based economy. BVMS will continue to help track tourists to help lessen the spread of the virus. 
Brgy. Sto. Nino-Slaughterhouse Compound placed under lockdown
One of the barangays in Baguio City was placed under lockdown after reports of guideline violations reached the city government. The residents of Brgy. Sto. Nino-Slaughterhouse Compound are reportedly loitering outside their homes without face masks and have been deliberately disobeying social distancing rules. The barangay’s mall and market schedule is suspended, and those who must leave their homes to buy essentials may proceed to their satellite market or available rolling stores. Entry and exit in the barangay are also strictly restricted to APORs and those with medical emergencies only. The area will be under lockdown until further notice. 
Senior Citizens and PWDs exempted from Baguio City’s parking fees
The City Council of Baguio approved an ordinance that exempts senior citizens and people with disabilities (PWDs) from paying parking fees for the first three hours in all the business establishments in the province. The ordinance applies to all resident and nonresident senior citizens and PWDs who are either drivers or passengers of the vehicle that will use a parking slot of any establishment that collects parking fees. All they have to do is present their senior citizen or PWD IDs and they shall be exempted from paying the required parking fees for the first three hours. After the third hour, the corresponding hourly rate will then be charged. 
An ordinance that requires bicyclists and electric scooter users to install safety reflectors on their vehicles has been approved by Baguio’s City Council. The ordinance also requires the riders in the city to wear helmets and safety reflectorized vests in order to keep them visible especially at night. 
Go to Yoorekka for more COVID-19 updates in Baguio and Northern Luzon.
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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