MISAMIS ORIENTAL -The province is aiming to be the “Balsa” capital in Mindanao but the whole Philippines, a provincial official said yesterday.
Lawyer Jeffrey Caudor Saclot, provincial tourism officer, the “Balsa” fever is now being felt in the province.
But Provincial Board Member Wayne Militante said the province must have a uniformed municipal ordinance that will regulate and govern the operation of “Balsa.”
Militante said: “We need to build a durable floating cottages for the safety of the people and children.”
Gene Harvey Busiños, provincial tourism officer of the Municipality of Alubijid, said “Balsa” started its operation in their town in November 26, 2020.
Busiños said his office recorded only 1,000 visitor in a month when the “Balsa” started its operation.
He said the visitors rose to 13,000 in December 2020 and continues to increase in January 2021.
“It eventually generates local jobs because fishermen fish at night and used their bancas to ferry passengers at day,” said Busiños.
“Based on existing Municipal Ordinance, visitor is required to pay an entrance fee of 10 pesos and another 15 pesos as Environmentsl fee,”he added.
“During week days, the floating cottages is pegged at Php3,500 while during holidays and weekends the cost would be Php4,000,” he said.
He also said that all tourists must follow the required health protocols.
Saclot said Misamis Oriental is under the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) thus all activities including the religious matters are limited to 50-percent.
“Although the province of Misamis Oriental managed the crisis well having at least less than 100 cases the province still requires the Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test,” said Saclot.
“Business as usual is just that we are implementing the rules set forth by Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), he said.
He said that under the IATF rules below 15 and above 60 years old are not allowed.
“We also did not receive report that someone has been infected with the virus in any tourism sites in the province.
“We would like to believe that our tourism entreprises are well aware of the regulation,” said Saclot.
He added: “If they will not comply they will be subject to disciplinary action.”