FILE PHOTO: Bulusan National Park.

MANILA, Philippines — Sorsogon is ready to welcome local and foreign tourists again as COVID-19 cases in the province continue to drop, Governor Francis Escudero assured the public on Monday.

Escudero in a statement said that a better Sorsogon is awaiting tourists once travel restrictions are eased, as the provincial government and other local government units within the province took the pandemic as a chance to improve certain areas, especially tourism sites and road networks.

“Noong nagsara ang mundo nang dahil sa pandemya, ginawa namin itong oportunidad upang mapaganda pa ang aming lalawigan,” the governor, who is seeking a Senate seat in the 2022 polls, said.

“Nagkaroon ng mga renovation at improvement sa ilan sa aming mga tourism sites, pati mga kalye at iba pang mga imprastraktura ay ipinagawa,” he added.

One of the things that the provincial government of Sorsogon focused on during the several lockdowns was the creation of the new Bulusan Eco-Tourism Center and Facilities, along with the reopening of the Bulusan Eco-Adventours at the Bulusan Natural Park.

Escudero, who is set to inaugurate the eco-tourism center this coming March 5, hopes that the opening of the province to tourists will signal the rejuvenation of the economy which has suffered due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.

“Our province is more beautiful and better now kasi pinagsikapan namin itong pagandahin simula noong mag-lockdown noong Marso 2020, and I am excited to welcome both our kababayan and foreigner friends alike,” he said.

“Umaasa kami na muling pagbubukas ng aming pinto para sa turista, lokal man o banyaga, gugulong muli ang aming ekonomiya at mabubuhay muli ang mga negosyong nahimlay dahil sa pandemya,” he added.

According to Sorsogon’s provincial government, there are new amenities at the Bulusan Park like an al fresco coffee shop and restaurant to ensure that COVID-19 protocols are being followed, a massage and spa area, and a bigger souvenir shop.

They are also positive that the reopening of Sorsogon to tourists will attract at least a part of the tourist share that the province got before the pandemic, like 2019’s 141,000 arrivals.

A lot of areas in the country, including Metro Manila, have been placed under Alert Level 1 — the lowest of the alert systems for COVID-19 — with the continuous decrease in infections.

READ: NTF eyeing COVID-19 endemic approach 

Just this January, the country saw a quick spike in COVID-19 infections due to the more transmissible Omicron variant. However, health authorities noted that hospitalization and mortality rates were down with the Omicron becoming a dominant variant.


Ilocos downgrades to COVID-19 Alert Level 1

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