TRIAGE. Mayor Benjamin Magalong inspects the central triage facility of the city government at the Baguio Convention Center compound in an undated photo in 2020. The city is mulling on closing the triage facility and making the private establishments manage their own triage services. (PNA file photo)

BAGUIO CITY – The city government is planning to transfer to the private sector full responsibility for conducting triage services for billeted tourists, with most accommodation establishments already having their triage facilities.

“We are now winding down operation, hinihintay ko na lang ang recommendation ng ating health office and we are going to give up our triage system siguro sa May (I am just waiting for the recommendation of our health office and we are giving up the triage system probably by May),” said Mayor Benjamin Magalong in a media interview on Wednesday.

He said the triage will be done individually by the hotels and other accommodation establishments which started establishing their facilities when the local government reopened the city to visitors.

Initially, there were only two hotels that were allowed to have their triage. Other accommodations soon set up their own triage areas, allowing in-house guests to no longer proceed to the city's central triage and instead go straight to their hotels to check their compliance with health requirements.

The mayor said the city has even transferred the management of the tourist online registration portal visita.baguio.gov.ph to the business sector through the Baguio Tourism Council (BTC), which is composed of tourism-related establishments.

Under the city’s rules, a tourist has to register at the online registration portal and generate a quick response (QR) code that will be shown at the border checkpoint.

In the process of registration, the tourist will be required to submit the name of the accommodation establishment where they will be staying or the address of a relative with whom the tourist will stay.

Tourists taking the bus will be triaged at the bus station or in the case of tourists arriving in private vehicles, at the central triage, or the accommodation establishment if they have a triage facility.

The mayor said that slowly, the city government is closing the big facilities and diffusing them to the smaller centers.

He added that even the vaccination centers have been moved to the district health centers at the different barangays and major drugstores Watsons and Mercury Drugstores that also accommodate tourists for their coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination needs. (PNA)