70% of population in Cordova, Cebu eager to get vaccinated

CEBU CITY, June 5 (PIA7) -- At least 70 percent of the target population in Cordova town are eager to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

According to Cordova Mayor Mary Therese Sitoy-Cho during the Network Briefing News hosted by Sec. Martin Andanar of the Presidential Communications Operations Office on Friday, some of their constituents are eager to get vaccinated, while others are nervous.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Sec. Martin Andanar (L) and Cordova Mayor Mary Therese Sitoy-Cho (R) talk about how the pandemic affected the livelihood of residents of Cordova town and their economy during the Network Briefing News program on June 4, 2021. (Screengrab on Presidential Communications FB page)

Sitoy-Cho said, "The general sentiment is that they need the vaccine to be able to go back to at least a normal life. However, some are still hesitant because of the vaccine's effect on their bodies." 

She said more than 500 of their constituents have already been inoculated.

The mayor said Cordova town has recorded around 300 cases since the start of pandemic last year.

"Last year, we only had minimal cases since it was controlled. This year, it peaked because people are going out, and positive cases have become normal," she added.

Impact of pandemic on tourism and economy

Sitoy-Cho shared that the town's initial livelihood was centered on fishing, but when tourists started flocking in, it shifted its main source of livelihood to tourism.

"Our stores and restaurants depend on tourists, especially our boat operators who cater to those going island hopping. Even our fishermen turned to tourism as their alternate livelihood," she said. 

However, the mayor lamented how the pandemic greatly affected their tourism industry.

"Our income on business taxes went down because some establishments have closed and most of the fisherfolk reverted back to fishing," she said.

Sitoy-Cho added that the municipal government offered programs to its fisherfolks; giving them financial assistance and aiding them in opening up small businesses.

At present, the mayor said they are only depending on local tourists and markets, but are limiting tourism activities to prevent further spread of the virus.

She said these activities and famous spots are being monitored by their local task force and tourism office.

"All tours are coordinated with the LGU (local government unit) and we limit the capacity of the boats to 50 to 70 percent and they should only be one group," the local chief executive said.

She named some tourist spots in Cordova town which include the Hilutungan Marine Sanctuary known to international divers for its diving spots, Nalusuan Island Sanctuary, mangrove tours, and the 10,000 Roses which is popular nationwide and abroad.

The mayor also listed resorts like the Solea, Gabi, Asela, Alta and Home Village wherein she said the hotels and resorts should be accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and should comply with the COVID-19 preventive measures required by DOT and the LGU.

Sitoy-Cho advised other LGUs to be open for tourism "for the sake of their constituents."

"Tourism brings income to the town but this entails extra effort and resources so that we can still protect our people from COVID and opening up tourism is a way of balancing health and income," she said. 

"We cannot remain afraid of COVID, we still need livelihood. Let's apply preventive measures to all establishments. The establishments should coordinate with the LGU, and the LGU must really check the requirements for preventive measures," the mayor added.

"One-time checking is not enough; there should be consistent checking and monitoring," she ended. (idc/PIA7)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

Post a Comment