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Bohol tourism not quite recovered 6 weeks after deadly quake

Posted On 2013 Dec 07
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Residents walk past a destroyed church belfry in Tubigon, Bohol , a day after an earthquake hit central Philippines October 16, 2013.  (MNS photo)

Residents walk past a destroyed church belfry in Tubigon, Bohol , a day after an earthquake hit central Philippines October 16, 2013. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – The 7.2 magnitude earthquake leveled many of Bohol’s old churches, including the HolyTrinityChurch in Loay town. Reuters

Six weeks after a deadly magnitude-7.2 quake jarred Central Visayas, tourism in Bohol province has yet to fully recover. And after Typhoon Yolanda swept through the province, snatching more homes and livelihoods, and causing more power outages, it seems like a case of taking one step forward and three steps back.

Department of Tourism Central Visayas regional director Rowena Montecillo said there are still trip cancellations by tourists, state-run Philippine Information Agency said.

PIA quoted Montecillo as saying there are “trip cancellations of tourists coming to Bohol.”

She also appealed to tourists “not to cancel their trips, but only to postpone” them.

Still, she said Bohol tourism is “still up.” Indeed, there are still a few tourists who decided to push through with their vacation on Panglao beach, but the current numbers are a far cry from the tourism glory of pre-earthquake days mere weeks ago.

The PIA added the DOT disseminates information on which accredited tour facilities are operating after the quake.

Bohol and several neighboring areas in Central Visayas were devastated by the magnitude-7.2 quake last Oct. 15.

Among the affected tourist attractions were the world-renowned Chocolate Hills and several churches on the waiting list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

Livelihoods have been affected as well, mostly tourism-related ones such as those of bangkeros and vendors.

The Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary in Tagbilaran was thankfully unaffected, but its tiny inhabitants went missing just before the quake, as they sensed it coming.

Meanwhile, the PIA quoted Health Secretary Enrique Ona as saying Loon town, one of the worst-hit areas, will have a new hospital.

Ona said the funding for the new hospital will come from combined funds of the DOH and Loon local government.

He added the DOH is proposing a P163-million budget for damaged hospitals in Bohol. (MNS)

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