Hefty fines, jail time await tourism protocol violators in Cebu province

CEBU CITY—Stiff penalties await those who will violate tourism protocols and guidelines set out by the Cebu provincial government.

An ordinance that was passed by the Cebu Provincial Board on Monday will penalize erring individuals with a P5,000 fine or one-year imprisonment, or both depending on the discretion of the court.

The ordinance, authored by Fifth District Board Member Red Duterte, strengthened Executive Order No. 20-A that Governor Gwendolyn Garcia had issued “establishing protocols and guidelines for tourism-related activities, accommodation establishments, and restaurants.”

Duterte said the ordinance was a necessity to ensure that protocols were properly followed.

“This ordinance is very needed. There are tourism stakeholders that are confused because some are following the protocols and some are not. To ensure that all stakeholders will follow, we put it into an ordinance,” said Duterte, who is the chairman of the province’s Committee on Tourism.

The province has already allowed tourism-related activities, such as canyoneering, island hopping, snorkeling, diving, whaleshark watching and snorkeling, sightseeing, zipline adventure, ATV riding, parasailing, hiking, trekking, mountaineering, and spelunking as well as visits to cultural heritage sites and museums.

Under the ordinance, personnel assigned in the reception area must wear personal air purifier, and ensure that health screening and other health protocols are observed.

Physical distancing markers and foot baths, regular disinfection and sterilization of restroom using ultraviolet germicidal light and other safety and health measures must be placed and observed in the establishments.