TAGBILARAN CITY – Bohol’s next normal direction anchors on the “Bohol Bubble” concept as it glides on the tag “Ultimate Bohol Experience (UBE)”, with two Cabinet members commending the province’s effort to reopen the tourism economy.
Governor Arthur Yap on Monday said “all tourism establishments that wish to reopen would be required to secure an UBE seal on top of DOT’s (Department of Tourism) accreditation”.
The Bohol-specific seal would cover an establishment’s compliance with the province’s sewage treatment plant requirements and carrying capacity and the use of renewable energy as well.
“We want to check their (energy) footprint because that is what Bohol is all about. It’s about sustainable eco-agri-tourism so we want to protect our patrimony to make sure that this is going to be here for ages to come. I think it is a surmountable requirement,” Yap said, referring to the soon-to-be-required UBE accreditation.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, during their visit to the province on Friday and Saturday, commended Bohol officials for enforcing strict anti-Covid (coronavirus disease 2019) protocol.
They said their adherence to strict protocols gives them the confidence that Bohol can gracefully make it to the next normal in reopening the economy through the “Bohol Bubble” designed by the Provincial Tourism Council and the Bohol Tourism Office.
Puyat, who brought with her Tourism Promotion Board chief operations officer Anthonette Velasco Allones, said the DOT team came to Bohol in full force as they are committed to pour in PHP2.1 billion for tourism-related projects.
“We’ve been having informal talks together with the Department of Foreign Affairs, with Korea, with Japan but, of course, everything is fluid. We’ve already been talking that once travel restrictions have been lifted, we can already talk about direct flights,” she said.
Yap said Boholanos “will first work with the tourism stakeholders and LGUs of Panglao Island to ensure that their employees and their services are anti-Covid compliant. This begins with issuing contact tracing cards and providing PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests for visitors when they arrive and leave Bohol”.
He also assured Puyat and Año “that national government funds spent in Bohol are investments well spent for the country”.
“We wish to assure Secretary Puyat, that the DOT’s World Bank Tourist Program, especially your components in Farm Tourism, Palengke Development Program, Solid Waste Management Facility for Clustered Municipalities, Tourism Value Chain, Tourism Site Enhancement, Hygiene Preparedness, Sea Ambulances and Decompression Chambers, are well counterparted and made a critical part of this effort to open up our tourism by the last quarter of 2020,” he added. (PNA)