Bantayan Island beaches, other tourist spots now open to Cebu visitors
CEBU CITY –– An island known for its pristine white sand beaches was opened to visitors from Cebu province.
Bantayan Island, located 145 kilometers northwest of Cebu City, is the seventh most visited destination in the Philippines in 2019, according to the Department of Tourism.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia led the reopening of the island last Oct. 17, seven months after it was closed to visitors due to restrictions brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“I was the first one who placed strict protocols and border controls. I am also the first one who said that this is too much. This is enough. Because lives cannot continue without a livelihood. Millions of others are affected because our economy is now comatose,” she said.
Garcia said everyone, regardless of age, may visit Cebu’s tourist destinations as long as they could provide the required confirmed tour site booking and two-way travel ticket.
The shipping companies were instructed to check the Quick Response (QR) code of the visitors’ confirmed bookings before they are allowed to board the ferry boat.
“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 said.
Garcia’s two brothers Nelson and Marlon died last month in six days.
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 blood-stream 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 Bantayan Island Airport.
The airport is being developed to accommodate bigger aircraft.
The entire Cebu province and its component cities are under modified general community quarantine following the slowdown of COVID-19 cases.
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.