BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The provincial government of Negros Occidental is not keen on re-opening Mambukal Mountain Resort in Barangay Minoyan, Murcia, before the year ends, amid the coronavirus disease pandemic.
“We don’t want to encourage people to go out, and go to resorts,” Negros Occidental Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said.
With Negros Occidental still under Modified General Community Quarantine, some resorts and other tourism destinations in Negros Occidental have resumed operations with restrictions, following closures for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Records of the Provincial Tourism Office showed that some accommodation facilities and resorts in 21 of the 32 local government units in Negros Occidental, resumed operations subject to strict health protocols.
The Gawahon Eco-Park in Brgy. Gawahon, Victorias City, has opened, but only to city residents, on Nov. 14, and Magikland, an outdoor theme park in Brgy. Guinhalaran, Silay City, that can accommodate 4,000, resumed operations, also on Saturday, with 1,500 guests allowed to enter.
Under the guidelines released by the Department of Tourism, resorts and hotels in areas that are under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ are now allowed to resume operations as long as they strictly comply with safety and health protocols against the spread of COVID-19.
While they are entertaining the possibility of resuming the operations of Mambukal Resort early next year, Diaz said they will look into developments first.
“I think that, as of this time, it is really against logic and science to open resorts, especially Mambukal, where people converge,” he said.
Mambukal Resort is presently being used as a healing center for COVID-19 patients.
“We want to open Mambukal to the public as soon as possible, as we want it to have an income, but we don’t want to take unnecessary risks and start an epidemic there,” Diaz pointed out.
But he said that the provincial government is further improving Mambukal Resort by clearing overgrown trees and repairing cottages, among others.
“For now, we just have to be satisfied. It is one of our healing centers, and serve as a quarantine facility for our government employees infected by COVID-19,” Diaz added.*GPB