The famous Hundred Islands National Park (HINP) will reopen on July 1 to tourists from the first district of Pangasinan.
In an interview Monday, city tourism officer Miguel Sison said the national park will accommodate 1,000 guests daily or 50-percent of its original capacity based on the guidelines under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
He said that based on the city’s guideline, HINP will only accommodate tourists from the first district of Pangasinan within July and August.
It will be reopened to the whole province by September, and to the whole of Ilocos Region in October and November, he added.
“And in December, depending on the situation, we might possibly be able to accommodate tourists from all over the country,” Sison said.
Visitors are advised to bring proof of residences like identification and the like.
Sison said health protocols and other guidelines will be strictly implemented to ensure the safety of guests and employees, as well as prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Aside from the guests, boatmen themselves have to wear face masks and regularly disinfect their boats. They have to follow all guidelines otherwise, they will not be allowed to sail, he said.
Sison added that fees like registration or entrance, and environmental fee to be charged per person remains the same.
However, guests are advised to bring extra money for additional expenses in the rental of motorboats and other facilities.
Physical distancing will be strictly implemented thus boats or bancas are only allowed to ferry 50 percent of capacity. There will be thermal scanning and contact numbers and addresses of guests have to be listed.
“The large boat can contain eight persons, five persons for medium boats, and two to three persons for the small boats. The rates, however, are the same since it is already in the city’s ordinance and expenses of the boatmen are the same. Only one representative of a group is allowed to enter and transact business at the tourism office,” he said.
Tourists may take off to the island through the Lucap Wharf, Bolo Beach, and Bued stations.
However, overnight stay and snorkeling in the islands will not be allowed in the meantime, but tourists may avail of the helmet diving, and accommodation establishments (AEs) at the city proper, Sison said.
“We will prioritize those who have booked with AEs in the city, but then again health standards will be applied even within the accommodations. Loitering outside of one’s room will not be allowed,” he said.
He added 90 percent of the AEs in the city have already secured or applied for the certificate of authority to operate from the Department of Tourism.
“We advise tourists to follow the health protocols as we aim to gradually open the HINP to tourists,” Mayor Arth Bryan Celeste said in a separate interview.
Meanwhile, Celeste said the city will continue to distribute relief packs to workers in the city whose works are still affected by the pandemic.
Coinciding with re-opening of HINP is the blessing and inauguration on July 1 of the souvenir shop and the three-dimensional artwork at the floor of the Lucap port situated at the Tourism and Entertainment Center.
The artworks painted by members of the Tanghalang Sandaang Pulo is an added attraction which will welcome guests before they board the motorboats going to the Hundred Islands. (PNA)