Three months after it was closed due to COVID-19 pandemic
TACLOBAN CITY – The local government unit of Balangkayan, Eastern Samar has open to the tourists the Minasangay Island Ecological Park and Resort, three months since it was closed due to the pandemic cause by the coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19).
But the tourist destination, however, will only be open for residents of Eastern Samar province, Mayor Allan Contado.
Eastern Samar is under Modified General Community Quarantine and considered a low-risk area where local government units have the power to regulate tourism activities.
“But yung pagiging low risk na classification is not a license for us to be complacent and lower our guards for this purpose. As I said earlier, we can beat this virus through self-discipline,” Mayor Contado said.
He said that all those who will visit the Minasangay Island Ecological Park will follow the guidelines issued by the national Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) like the wearing of face masks and practice of social distancing.
Contado added that the local government gets most of their income from the Minasangay Island Ecological Park and Resort.
“Ito ang pinakamalaki naming local revenue, we can’t afford to close this although we recognize the fact that this is a health issue, but then we also recognize the fact that this is an economic issue,” Contado said.
“We can’t afford to starve our constituents. We can’t afford to lose income our LGU kasi ano naman ang mangyayari sa atin kung walang income ang LGU,” he added.
Aside from providing income to the LGU, the tourist destination also provides job to more than 30 individuals of the town who takes care of the site every week.
Last year, the LGU earned more than P4 million from the 100,000 tourists who visited the tourist attraction.
The destination is known for its mangroves, various rock formations and cliff diving. It is also ideal for sightseeing, kayaking, snorkeling, and swimming.
Other beach resorts in the municipality have also started their operations. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)