CAVING SUSPENDED. The Sagada Cave is among the favorite tourist attraction in Sagada, Mountain Province. It receives local and foreign tourists on a regular basis, especially during weekends. (PNA file photo)

BAGUIO CITY— The municipality of Sagada in Mountain Province has suspended all eco-tourism activities that involve body contact due to the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19), Mayor James Pooten told reporters on Friday.

Executive Order 7-20 issued on Feb. 13 entitled “An exec order suspending all activities related to eco-tourism activities within the municipality of Sagada due to the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) until further notice,” is a preventive measure against the possible spread of the virus.

The EO further states that its issuance is in response to the growing concern over the outbreak of coronavirus, and with the declaration of the World Health Organization (WHO) of a world health emergency.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has also advised all local government units (LGUs) to take precautionary measures to help contain the spread of the virus.

“There is an urgent need to protect the municipality of Sagada and its residents being a top destination for tourists in the North Philippines from the threat of the Covid-19 and similar strains by strictly implementing prevention control measures,” the order said.

Pooten said caving and spelunking, as among the activities that involve body contact, are suspended.

Sagada, located some five hours away from here via the Halsema Highway, is among the favorite tourist destination of local and foreign tourists due to the extraordinary natural beauty of its eco-tourism sites. It has achieved an international spot in terms of tourism for its caves endowed with rock formation reached through spelunking.

In entering the caves, people are aided by tour guides to avoid slipping on the stalactites and stalagmites inside the caves and in going up and down the terrain. (PNA)