BAGUIO CITY – Local tourism industry stakeholders warned individuals and groups advocating for the total closure of Baguio city they will not support them in their future endeavors considering their obvious attempt to ruin the robust growth of the city’s tourism industry and the identity of the country’s undisputed Summer Capital’s as one of the premier tourist destinations in the archipelago.
Anthony de Leon, president of the 5-strong Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) and general manger of the Baguio Country club (BCC), said it will be the thousands of employees of the tourism establishments who will first suffer the brunt of the proposed closure of Baguio City being advocated by some politicians because they will eventually lose their jobs that will lead to loss of income that support their families.
“For those who continue to advocate for the closure of Baguio, we assure you that you will not get our support in your endeavors,” de Leon stressed.
He explained the city’s private sector continues to fulfil their mandatory obligations to comply with existing laws, rules and regulations for the preservation and protection of the environment that is why those who are compliant to the same should not be made to suffer the consequences of the refusal of other stakeholders to comply with similar regulations.
According to him, the private sector must heavily invest to ensure they will comply with stringent environmental rules and regulations to ensure that the decent state of the city’s environment will be preserved and protected to abate issues that may arise regarding the supposed closure of Baguio city being advocated by certain sectors who are not even aware of the compliance being done by sectors to the policies being imposed by concerned government agencies and the local government.
De Leon underscored that in putting up tourism-related businesses, individuals and groups must prioritize the compliance to existing environmental preservation and protection policies to prevent them from being issued notices of violation for their failure to put in place required sewerage treatment facilities that adhere to existing rules and regulations crafted for the purpose.
He claimed that much have been said about the state of the city’s environment but what has not been emphasized were the efforts of the concerned government agencies, the local government and the private sector to ensure their compliance to the standards in pursuing the preservation and protection of the environment which is the city’s natural pull in enticing people to frequent the city.
The HRAB official assured concerned government agencies and the local government its members are strictly complying with the prescribed rules and regulations ensuring the preservation and protection of the city’s environment because development can coexist with the efforts to sustain the state of the environment of the city.
He explained there are some prevailing issues in the city concerning the environment which must be addressed by the stakeholders but there are already efforts being implemented to correct existing defects, thus, there is no need to go to the extent of closing the city just to compel various sectors to comply as it is incumbent upon them to adhere to the prescribed regulations./Dexter A. See