Baguio considers full transfer of yard services to hotels

SORTING. Mayor Benjamin Magalong inspects the city government’s Central Yard Facility in the grounds of the Baguio Convention Center in an undated photo in 2020. The city plans to close the yard facility and ensure that private facilities operate their own triage services. (PNA file photo)

CITY OF BAGUIO – The city government plans to hand over full responsibility for running yard services for hosted tourists to the private sector, with most accommodation establishments already having their yard facilities.

“We are now ending our operations, remember the recommendation from the health unit and we will be abandoning our triage system in May (just waiting for the recommendation from our health unit and we are abandoning the triage system probably from here May),” Mayor Benjamin Magalong said in a media interview Wednesday.

He said triage will be done individually by hotels and other accommodation establishments that started establishing their facilities when the local government reopened the city to visitors.

Initially, only two hotels were allowed to do their triage. Other accommodations quickly set up their own triage areas, allowing internal guests to skip the city’s central triage and go directly to their hotel to check their compliance with health requirements.

The mayor said the city has even transferred the management of the online tourist registration portal to the business sector through the Baguio Tourism Council (BTC), which is made up of tourism-related establishments.

According to city rules, a tourist must register on the online registration portal and generate a Quick Response (QR) code which will be displayed at the border checkpoint.

During the registration process, the tourist will have to provide the name of the accommodation establishment where he will be staying or the address of a relative with whom the tourist will be staying.

Tourists taking the bus will be sorted at the bus station or, in the case of tourists arriving by private vehicle, at the central triage or at the accommodation establishment if it has a triage facility.

The mayor said slowly the city government is closing large facilities and rolling them out to smaller centers.

He added that even the vaccination centers have been moved to district health centers in the various barangays and major Watsons and Mercury Drugstores which also cater to tourists for their coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination needs. (NAP)

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