Naga braces for summer with inspection of facilities, trainings for tourism workers
By Juan Escandor Jr. NAGA CITY---With the summer peak season just around the corner, the Arts, Culture and Tourism Office of this city had conducted inspection of tourist facilities and training workers in preparation for the influx of tourists from April to May. Alec Francis Santos, chief of the Naga City Arts, Culture and Tourism Office (Acto), said this month they have started inspection of accommodation establishments regardless of the size, from small pension houses to big hotels, especially those establishments with water features. Santos said the inspection is regularly done every three months by the Acto together with several other agencies and city hall departments including the Bureau of Fire Protection, City Engineer’s Office, City Health Office, the Philippine National Police. “We go around every quarter, especially prior to the peak season, which at present, summer, to make sure that these establishments are compliant in terms of their facilities and personnel,” he said. Santos they have found out that most of the accommodation establishments in Naga City are compliant with the pertinent local and national regulations. “But there is minor non-compliance like the non-posting of their permits or when it comes to sanitation some employees are not using the yellow or health cards especially those handling food,” he revealed. Santos said that those establishment personnel who handle food are required by law to wear their yellow or health cards at all times. He added that the yellow or health cards are proofs that the establishment personnel had already undergone health examination and found to be free from communicable diseases. He said in addition to the inspection of accommodation establishments, they conducted first aid, water safety and rescue training of employees in the establishments with water features like swimming pool. “In Naga City, all resorts with swimming pools are required to have lifeguards on duty during operating hours who are qualified,” Santos said. He said the training for lifeguards was in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross with a duration of one whole week so that they will be qualified when it comes to water safety and rescue. “We do this training twice a year to ensure the safety and security of guests coming to Naga City,” Santos said. He said the training did not only cover water safety or drowning incident or how to avoid drowning or resuscitate the victims but as well as mass casualty incidents. Santos said number of tourists visiting Naga City continuously on the uptrend for the past four years from 2013 to 2016. The Acto data show that from 859,743 tourists in 2013, the number has grown to 1,209,202 tourists in 2016. In 2014, the number of tourists that visited the city had reached 947,808 and breached more the than a million mark in 2015 at 1,057,172 tourists. Based on the Acto data, the months of May, September and December are the peak months with the most number of tourist visiting the city.