LT celebrates tourism month, ensures tourist safety

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With the skies The rolling hills and slopes of Mt Yangbew is the ideal sanctuary for hikers and thrill-seekers Regardless of the incident, visitors still trek the mountain to experience being at one with the sky. //Vitoria Magastino

 

In celebration of the La Trinidad’s Tourism Month, the office of the mayor prepared a series of activities in boosting the municipality’s tourism.

Valred Olsim, Municipal Tourism Officer, said that this Tourism Month’s focus is on business, development, and promotions. He said that the mobile company Touch Mobile (TM) is in partnership with the municipality in boosting the tourism.

However, an incident occurred at Mt Yangbew, Tawang, La Trinidad where one died and one was injured last April 21.

“This is the first time that this incident occurred in Yangbew,” said Radino Belly, Chief of Police of the La Trinidad Municipal Police Office (LTMPO). He added that the case is still under investigation.

Belly also explained that the suspects had easy access to Yangbew because the registration of tourists and visitors are found when they reach the mountain peak. He said that the incident happened along the road and the suspects attacked the victims before they could reach the summit.

The motive of the crime is still under investigation but the Police Office and the Municipal Tourism noted that the victim’s family never filed a complaint against the barangay or to the Municipal hall until now.

Mayor Edna Tabanda issued a temporary closing of the said tourist spot. Nevertheless, a week after, the barangay opened Yangbew once again.

Measures of the municipality

            “Yangbew is private property, and is still not accredited by the municipal,” explained Belly.

Belly pointed out that barangay Tawang is doing its counterpart by dispatching barangay tanods and adding tourist guides to patrol the area. Nevertheless, he recommends that there should be a police compact to be set in the area.

“I recommend that the Yangbew should be closed a little longer,” suggested Olsim. He also suggests that below five visitors, there should be a tour guide to ensure the safety.

“Noon, kapag may potential tourist attraction, it will be promoted. Ngayon, dahil sa incident, kailangan nating maging stricter and safer (Before the incident when there is a potential tourist attraction, it will be promoted. Today, we need to become stricter and safer),” expressed Olsim.

Donna Claire Kulallad, a resident of Tawang said that she was frightened to go to Yangbew when the incident first happened. However, she agreed with the barangay’s decision to reopen the tourist spot.

“OK lang kasi tourist spot ‘yun eh. Saka kahit saan kasi pwede mangyari ang krimen (It’s okay that they opened it because it’s a tourist spot. And crimes can happen anywhere),” she explained.

“Siguro magdagdag na lang sila ng magbabantay (They should add more patrollers),” she added.

Other plans

The Municipal Tourism office ceases operations after the Yangbew incident and is to continue their activities on June. Olsim said that the office is preparing for the foundation day on June.

Nevertheless, Olsim said that there should be a Tourism Center for La Trinidad and a Tourism Council to address these issues such as crimes and programs. He said that the Tourism office is still dependent on the decision of the mayor.

Olsim also added that the next administration should focus on infrastructure and fix roads to potential tourist spots such as Kalugong and Bahong.

“We need to orient people that they should see LT as a tourist-friendly place because sometimes the people sees tourist as annoyance and cause traffic,” Olsim concluded. //Mikeen Penchog

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