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Benguet’s Kabayan town to close tour sites due to COVID-19 threat

/ 12:25 PM February 13, 2020
Benguet's Kabayan town to close tour sites due to COVID-19 threat

Mt. Pulag, Luzon’s highest peak, is a popular tourist site in Kabayan, Benguet because of its alpine-like vegetation and “sea of clouds.” Photo by Richard Balonglong

BAGUIO CITY –– The town of Kabayan in Benguet province will temporarily stop its tourism-related activities starting Feb. 24 to thwart the possible spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

A popular destination for mountaineers, Kabayan covers most of Mt. Pulag National Park, including the Ranger Station and the primary entrance of tourists at Bashoy village. Mt. Pulag is Luzon’s highest peak.

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Kabayan Mayor Faustino Aquisan said tourists who would enter the town before Feb. 24 would be required to declare their travel history and present a medical certificate.

“Dishonesty, failure to abide by the declaration form, or falsifying information will be sanctioned according to law and be banned from entering Kabayan,” Aquisan said.

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Aguisan said the scheduled closure of tourism sites would give affected businesses enough time to advise their clients.

The Mount Pulag National Park management, however, said it would continue its tourism activities pending an order from the Protected Area Management Board, which regulates the park.

The towns of Atok and Kibungan, both in Benguet; and the towns of Balbalan and Tinglayan, in Kalinga province, also issued similar suspensions earlier this month.

Atok is famous for its frigid weather and flower farms, while Kibungan hosts trekkers and mountain climbers due to its high rocky mountains.

Found in Balbalan are the Ugid Underground River and the Balbalasang National Park, while Tinglayan is home to the famous tattoo artist Whang-od Oggay.

Edited by Lzb

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For more information about the novel coronavirus click here.

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TAGS: Benguet, coronavirus disease, COVID-19, Kabayan, Mt. Pulag National Park, Philippine news updates, Regions, Tourism
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