Baguio nightclubs shift to food business to survive pandemic
BAGUIO CITY — About 60 nightclubs and music halls here were forced to convert their businesses into food-oriented services to continue operating as the city government had required them to adjust to the quarantine regulations, officials said.
Although costly, these establishments began serving customers partly due to the pressure to use leased property, now that landlords were starting to demand rent, Allan Bandoy, president of the Baguio Association of Bars and Entertainment Society, said on Tuesday. Most of these businesses also rely on tourism.
Baguio opened its borders to leisure travelers in October for Ilocos region residents. Eventually, it accepted tourists from the rest of Luzon, including Metro Manila which is still under general community quarantine.
For the first time since the quarantine began, some employees in the entertainment industry were given survival grants by Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat. They received a P5,000 stipend allocated for tourism workers by the second “Bayanihan To Recover as One Act.” Puyat said close to 27,000 displaced tourism workers in the Cordillera had been endorsed by the Department of Tourism for the P135-million grant.
Some of the entertainers are not qualified for the social amelioration program distributed by social workers and the initial COVID-19 adjustment measures program of the Department of Labor and Employment. —VINCENT CABREZA INQ
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