5 towns to get funds for projects
(The Freeman) - January 4, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Five towns will get funding from the Cebu provincial government to push for their tourism programs under Capitol’s Midwest Eco-tourism Project.

Aloguinsan, Alegria, Tabuelan, Balamban, and Asturias presented their plans yesterday to the Provincial Tourism Council and Cebu Investment Promotion Office (CIPO).

CIPO head Joselito Costas emphasized earlier the need to develop programs in Cebu’s Midwest, which eco-tourism resources remain untapped. He assessed the towns and their potential eco-tourism sites in July 2015.

Aloguinsan, for one, can develop dolphin-watching while Alegria can open canyoneering activities. Tabuelan wants to open a floating restaurant at its Batawang River while Balamban wants to develop Mount Manunggal where the plane of former President Ramon Magsaysay crashed. Asturias wants to develop Lake Buswang.

Aloguinsan would need P4 million to construct a docking wharf, a waiting lounge, and a briefing area for its “dolphin-watching eco-tourism project.” The town wants to start building the wharf by the second week of February so that it can be opened to tourists by summer.

Last year, the town’s community-based tourism Bojo River Cruise won the United Nations supported Tourism InSPIRE Award for Best Community-based Tourism Initiative in Asia Pacific.

The town’s tourism consultant said researchers from the University of the Philippines – Cebu have validated the feasibility of a dolphin watching project, considering the presence of spinner dolphins in its municipal waters.  Aloguinsan faces the Tañon Strait, a marine protected area.

Meanwhile, Alegria, a fourth class municipality, needs P5 million for its canyoneering project. The money would be used to establish signage and communication facilities and to build a trail, culinary hut, wellness village, cottages, and a briefing area for tourists, among others.

 Alegria’s eco-tour representative, Florenda Villamor, the funding will help the town strengthen its enforcement of environmental laws.

 Alegria Mayor Verna Magallon said she hopes the project will help clarify that canyoneering can be experienced only in Alegria.

“We hope our municipality will be known as one of the home of eco-tourism in the province… and it could already be recognized that canyoneering is solely from the municipality of Alegria and not in another community,” Magallon said.

As far as Tabuelan is concerned, the wife of Mayor Rex Gerona, Marife, showed yesterday the design of the proposed floating restaurant at the Batawang River and the 1.98-kilometer river cruise route, which would allow visitors to see at least 20 species of mangroves.

She said Tabuelan is the youngest municipality in the province and is considered the poorest municipality, thus, the funding would boost its tourism efforts.

Asturias, for its part, would need P3.5 million for its efforts to improve Lake Buswang.  (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC ALEGRIA ALEGRIA MAYOR VERNA MAGALLON ALOGUINSAN ASIA PACIFIC ASTURIAS BATAWANG RIVER CEBU LAKE BUSWANG TABUELAN TOURISM
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