Labo pushes farm tourism for guests

DAET, Camarines Norte --- The Local Government Unit (LGU) of Labo will push for farm tourism amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Mayor Joseph Ascutia said during the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) “Laging Handa” network briefing held recently.

Ascutia said that Labo LGU is targeting local tourists for farm tourism because the town is mountainous and with nature as its attractions.

The town has bodies of water that come from rivers, ponds, and falls and we can invite travelers and incorporate farm travel to restart the tourism here amid Covid-19, he said.

On food security, Ascutia said that coconut and palay, including some vegetables are the main crops in the town.

He said that recently, the LGU gave out palay and vegetable seeds. They are expecting that after 30 days, their residents will be able to harvest some produce.

Meanwhile, the LGU is still strictly implementing the 14-day quarantine for persons who will enter the town to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Ascutia, who is also the president of the Mayor’s League of the Philippines - Camarines Norte Chapter, stressed that the reason why his town is successful in containing the infection was because of the 14-day quarantine that they are doing to residents who enter the town in order to isolate suspected carriers.

“The provincial government put up two checkpoints and it really protected us although we had four cases here in our town, these are now gone. During the early stages of the lockdown, we supported two entrances here and we used the resources of the mayor’s league,” he said.

The mayor also requested the Balik Probinsya program be temporarily suspended until such time that cases of Covid-19 infections go down.

DILG Usec. Jonathan Malaya said during the network briefing that in fairness to LGUs, the return of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) are also being facilitated by ironing out the system of sending them back home.

“What we are doing is, when we are about to send somebody home, we immediately let the LGU know so they can prepare quarantine facilities, if needed,” Malaya said.

Malaya said that OFWs should test negative from the PCR test before they are sent home, so that LGUs can be assured that they will not be threats to the health of their constituents.

He said that the DILG is also studying, along with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and other agencies, the possibility of administering PCR test to returning residents to be done in the province and not in Metro Manila.

On the request of Ascutia to allow back riding in motorcycles for married couples, Malaya said that he will relay the matter to the IATF. He said that many LGUs have requested to allow back riding for married couples and the IATF has approved it in principle but the technical working group has not yet submitted the proposed guidelines.

Michael Aling, Camarines Norte Sanguniang Kabataan provincial federation president, who was also a guest during the briefing, discussed the initiatives of the youth in Covid-19 measures, which include the distribution of relief goods, soap and alcohol as well as information materials. (PIA5-Camarines Norte)