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For travelers visiting Sagada, a vax card and a Covid-19 test result are required.

Before entering the town of Sagada in Mountain Province, tourists must provide a negative test result for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and a vaccination card.

The protocol is part of Advisory No. 63, which was posted on the town’s official Facebook page on Thursday and updated entrance protocols in accordance with Sangguniang Bayan Resolutions 210-2021 and 222-2021.

Tourists who present a certificate indicating that they have been fully vaccinated, along with a rapid antigen test result obtained within 24 hours of arrival in Sagada or a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or saliva test result obtained within 48 hours of release, will be accepted in the town.

The official receipt from the accredited testing facility must accompany the test results.

Tourists must schedule at least a one-night stay in a Department of Tourism (DOT) licensed and local government unit (LGU) registered accommodation business. Day tours are not permitted.

The list of authorized accommodation establishments can be found at https://lodging.sagada.gov.ph.

All tourists must register at the Umali Kayo (Welcome) Online Registration Portal, which is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at https://umali-kayo.sagada.gov.ph. Tourists are required to register at least two days prior to their arrival.

Tourists must also be at the Sagada triage between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. exclusively for document checking and verification, according to the advice.

In a phone interview on Friday, Mayor James Pooten stated that they will not welcome tourists who do not meet the minimum standards and that those who seek to use fraudulent documents will face criminal charges.

Tourists who wish to visit Sagada but do not have test results will be subjected to a fast antigen test and will be charged PHP960.

Tourists will be able to enter Sagada using either personal or private automobiles or public transportation.

Pooten went on to say that public transit companies or organizations must examine if a visitor has met all of the requirements before boarding.

“They must also assume full responsibility for meeting the needs of tourists who have been denied entrance owing to a lack of standards,” he added.

He further stated that symptomatic tourists will be subjected to antigen testing, with those who test positive having the option of being quarantined at a Sagada isolation facility or returning home immediately.

“All other passengers on board the same car shall be classified as close contacts if a tourist on public transit tests positive,” the mayor added.

Tourists must attend an orientation at the tourism hub to learn about the rules and regulations, and each will receive a tourist kit and a tourist identification card.

Pooten is optimistic that the safe reopening of the town to tourism would help the local economy recover from the pandemic’s effects.

Tourism employs over 70% of Sagada’s central business district.

Around 1,300 tour operators, 300 inns and restaurants, and 100 souvenir shops operate in the town, with the establishments employing locals and the souvenir stores sourcing merchandise from vendors who employ workers as well.

According to Pooten, the town will lose PHP10 million in 2020 as a result of its share of the visitor registration cost.

Local taxpayer collections are likewise expected to be low or non-existent in 2021, according to the municipality.

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