For typhoon victims in Camotes capitol, CCTC to spearhead grassroots tourism program
Ehda Dagooc (The Freeman) - January 10, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – The Cebu City Tourism Commission (CCTC) and the Cebu Provincial Government will initiate a sustainable livelihood program for the beneficiaries of "Balik Balay" project in Pilar, Camotes.

CCTC chairperson Tetta Ba-ad said that the recipients of the "Balik Balay" project, which was launched to help the typhoon Yolanda victims two years ago, will undergo trainings to help them take advantage of the island’s tourism potential.

Moreover, a community tourism program will also be started, wherein the "Balik Balay" committee will utilize additional funds to initially build accommodation rooms for tourists and backpackers. This will serve as livelihood means for 30 beneficiary families.

Ba-ad said the group will build a community pavilion and three rooms designed to host visitors or tourists. The residents will manage the commercial tourism facility.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) will provide the trainings and workshop on community tourism to capacitate residents on entrepreneurial skills.

Women will be taught to manage the housekeeping while the men will take charge of maintenance of the small tourism business, she said.

Cebu City councilor Nestor Archival, who is known for his expertise on good environmental practices, will also be tapped to teach the residents on sound and proper environmental care.

Camotes Island has become the "darling" destination for backpackers, and eco-tourism enthusiasts in the recent years. Ba-ad believes that if given the right tools, residents will be able to take advantage of the island's tourism potential.

From pristine white sand beaches to underground rivers and caves, among others, this iconic island has been recognized by several entities for its eco-tourism resources.

The municipality of Pilar for instance is an awardee of the marine protected areas in the Philippines, through its Pilar Marine Park.

Camotes is a backpacker’s paradise, just like Boracay many years back,  Ba-ad said.

The residents should be trained to grab the money-making opportunities in tourism, at the same time give them proper knowledge in taking care of the environment.

Through this initiative, Ba-ad hopes to inspire more capitalists to invest and eventually partner with the community to boost tourism revenues on the island. (FREEMAN)

BALIK BALAY CAMOTES CAMOTES ISLAND CEBU CITY CEBU CITY TOURISM COMMISSION CEBU PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM NESTOR ARCHIVAL PILAR MARINE PARK QUOT TOURISM
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