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City prepares central business district for tourism opening
September 24, 2020 – The city government wants all business establishments within the central business district physically ready for the reopening of the tourism industry particularly in the implementation of health and safety protocols against the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
To ensure this, Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the city will require all establishments to employ corrective measures to rectify violations and deficiencies in their structures.
Last Sept. 18, the city and business owners agreed to close the 14 buildings along Mabini St. to give them time to improve their facilities and ensure compliance with the COVID health and safety measures to ensure safety of both their workers and clients.
City Buildings and Architecture Office led by Arch. Johnny Degay who was tasked by the mayor to oversee the closure and compliance with the corrective measures said the owners of the buildings and their tenants agreed to the scheme and adopted makeover work in their business areas by clearing all kinds of obstructions to allow ample spaces for human traffic in their entrances and alleys.
Unnecessary signages should also be removed or replaced with appropriate and presentable ones compliant with the approved protocols.
As of Sept. 24, 75 percent of the establishments have complied and have reopened, Degay said.
After Mabini, the same method will be implemented in other streets at the central business district namely Assumption Road, Upper and Lower Mabini, Session Road, among others.
The city had launched the tourism reopening program to cater first to tourists from Region 1. Target date of allowing entry will be on Oct. 1.
This is part of the thrust towards the calibrated rebooting of the city’s economy which is largely dependent on the tourism industry to bounce back from the losses wrought by the health crisis. - Aileen P. Refuerzo