Bantayan Island beaches, other tourist spots opened to Cebu visitors
CEBU CITY –– Bantayan Island’s pristine white sand beaches and its other tourist destinations have been opened to visitors from Cebu province.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia met with tourism stakeholders on Bantayan Island over the weekend and announced the reopening of its tourism activities with lesser restrictions.
Tourists were required to present only their confirmed bookings at hotels and resorts upon embarking on the ferry from Cebu mainland to Bantayan Island. The confirmed bookings also need two-way ferry tickets.
The shipping companies will check the QR code of the visitors of the confirmed bookings before they are allowed to board the ferry boat.
“I was the first one who placed strict protocols, border controls. I am also the first one who said that this is too much. This is enough. Because lives cannot continue without livelihood. Millions of others are affected because our economy is now comatose,” Garcia told tourism stakeholders in Bantayan.
The governor’s meeting in Santa Fe town on Bantayan Island was attended by over 50 resort owners, boat and shipping companies, tour operators, and restaurant owners.
“That is why I must fight for our economy to get back to its feet. And I have the right to say so, I lost two brothers. Even though I lost two brothers, I stand here to tell you now, it is the economy that we must focus on. Live with COVID-19 as we have lived with other diseases.”
Garcia’s two brothers Nelson and Marlon died within less than a month.
Based on her brothers’ death certificates, Nelson died of “cardiopulmonary arrest secondary to probable massive pulmonary embolism,” while Marlon succumbed to “septic shock secondary to a catheter-related bloodstream infection, ventilator-associated pneumonia.”
Both Marlon and Nelson tested positive for COVID-19 last August.
During her visit to Bantayan Island, Garcia also inspected the ongoing expansion construction of the existing Bantayan Island Airport. The airport is being developed to accommodate bigger aircraft.
Bantayan Island, famous for its white-sand beaches, is located 145 kilometers northwest of Cebu City. It is the seventh most visited tourist destination in the Philippines, according to the Department of Tourism.
The entire Cebu province and its component cities are now under modified general community quarantine following the slowdown of infections brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.