Ridge and Reef: Tourism and Stability in Region 1 and Baguio City
Last September 3, 2020, the Department of Tourism (DOT) showed its full support for the Ridge and Reef Corridor Plan between Baguio City and the four provinces of Region 1.
The mayor of Baguio City and the four governors of Region 1 signed an exploratory Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote tourism and stability amidst the COVID-19 pandemic within Baguio City, La Union, Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Sur (BLUPISIN). Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat attended the meeting shortly after speaking at the 111th Baguio City Day celebration and signed the exploratory MOU as one of the witnesses.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of mirco, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region were affected. In order to jumpstart domestic tourism and support the local businesses within their respective provinces, local and provincial leaders agreed on the implementation of the Ridge and Reef Corridor Plan to create a strategic travel bubble between the provinces of Region 1 and Baguio City. With BLUPISIN sharing similar health and safety protocols according to their shared Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) status, the Ridge and Reef Corridor Plan aims to put seamless travel between provinces into practice and likewise instill economic recovery and stability in the regional tourism industry.
Present at the said meeting with Secretary Romulo-Puyat were: Pangasinan Gov. Amado I. Espino III, Ilocos Norte Gov. Matthew Joseph Marcos Manotoc, Ilocos Sur Gov. Ryan Luis Singson, La Union Provincial Information and Tourism Officer Adamor Dagang (representing Gov. Francisco Emmanuel Ortega III), and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong. Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Chief Operations Officer Maria Antonette Velasco Allones, Intramuros Administrator Atty. Guiller Asido, DOT- Region I regional director Joseph Francisco Ortega, who also represented La Union Gov. Francisco Emmanuel Ortega and DOT-CAR officer-in-charge Jovy Ganonga also witnessed the signing of the MOU.