MANILA — The highland town of Sagada's local government said Tuesday it rejected a request to shoot video materials there for the background of the President Rodrigo Duterte's State of the Nation Address this year.
Sagada bans travelers from high-risk areas and is "not ready" to respond to patients with COVID-19, Vice Mayor Felecito Dula told SONA director Joyce Bernal in a letter posted in the local government's Facebook page.
"In these difficult times and in lieu of the foregoing reasons, we regret to inform you that entry of the team is being disallowed," said Dula, who heads the town's pandemic task force.
Sagada, popular among adventure-seekers and the brokenhearted, remains COVID-free. Its caves, trails and other eco-tourism attractions however remain closed to tourists, said the vice mayor.
Three scenarios are being considered for Duterte's 5th State to ensure pandemic protocols, namely: holding the speech in the Batasang Pambansa without guests, and 2 other plans where the President will deliver his speech via videoconferencing, said Senate President Vicente Sotto.
The President delivers his report to the nation every fourth Monday of July.