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Officials here have asked hotels and other accommodation establishments that have resumed operations to set up selling areas for small businesses.

Resolution No. 540-2021, passed by the city council in its last regular meeting and was approved by Mayor Benjamin Magalong, requests hotels to give spaces within their premises for the possible installation of stalls or booths to qualified and registered souvenirs, delicacies, and “pasalubong” (souvenir, delicacies) retailers or sellers.

Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan, in an interview on Monday, said the request is part of the ongoing efforts aimed at boosting the safe reopening of the local economy.

He said it has been a practice before the pandemic that sellers of souvenirs or delicacies were allowed to conduct their businesses within the premises of hotels in the city for the convenience and easy access of guests and customers to local products.

The resolution tasked the Permits and Licensing Division and the Public Order and Safety Division in coordination with the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB), to formulate the appropriate guidelines, criteria, and program components of the endeavor.

These offices will determine the basic parameters, such as the identification of the qualified and registered micro, small, and medium enterprises from the existing pool of retailers or sellers in the city; the imposition of appropriate permits and corresponding fees that will be collected by the city government and monitoring of the strict compliance to the public health standards.

The city government started opening its doors to fully vaccinated non-essential travelers after a downtrend in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases was noted.

Olowan said the council sees the importance of the industry not just to the main tourism activity but also helps the antecedent activities in the agriculture and other economy-oriented sectors.

“It plays a major factor in the slow but sure revival of the city’s lucrative tourism industry that had been heavily impacted by the continuing effect of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the official said.

The resolution states that the city’s policy of opening its door to fully vaccinated individuals is seen to generate the highest number of local and foreign tourists aside from returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that will help spur the economy for people to earn income.

One of the heavily impacted sectors during the implementation of the various levels of community quarantine in the different parts of the country to contain the rapid spread of the coronavirus is the retail sector where the retailers of souvenir items and delicacies belong.

“There is a need for them to start the revival of their economic activities some of whom depend on these as their main source of income,” the resolution said. (PNA)

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