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Cebu appeals for MGCQ status to revive tourism

Rico Osmeña

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Swim and snorkel with the whale sharks (butanding) in Oslob after a three-hour drive from Cebu City or Mactan. (cebutours.ph)

The deadly coronavirus pandemic affected even the butanding (whale shark) of Oslob, Cebu.

The mayors of Oslob, Moalboal, Alegria and Badian revealed in a meeting with Governor Gwen Garcia on Saturday that they have lost more than P100 million in tourism revenues since lockdowns began.

“We have to find ways to revive the tourism economy as towns depend much on this,” Garcia said.

Barangay Tan-awan, a popular venue for whale shark watching, lost more than P30 million in revenues.

Moalboal, meanwhile, lost income as its resorts, diving spots and islands are deserted. Alegria and Badian depend on canyoneering activities.

Garcia said she will appeal to the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to place the entire province under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

“I already talked with the IATF regional chair Jimmy Bernadas that we will appeal. We should move on to the next level and beyond that because we’re ready for that,” Garcia said.

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