Canada envoy announces tourism aid to Negros

Juancho R. Gallarde (The Freeman) - March 31, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines – Canada Ambassador to the Philippines Neil Reeder has informed Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo that the province will be among the beneficiaries of an $18 million tourism program in the Philippines, funded by the Canadian government.

Reeder, who visited Dumaguete City on Monday, met with Degamo at the Capitol, as part of his sorties around the Philippines to promote the program for various provinces and foster Philippine-Canadian relationship on trade and investments, immigration, tourism and environment, among others.

The ambassador was also scheduled to visit the island province of Siquijor, which was included, along with Negros Oriental, in the last batch of provinces to benefit from the program over the next two years.

In Dumaguete, Reeder told reporters that the Local Governance Support Program for Local Economic Development was a collaboration between the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Canadian International Development Agency.

The LGSP-LED in Negros Oriental will focus on capacity building and developing the tourism sector by training personnel in the hotel industry, building tourism circuits, well-trained staff, investment promotions and better marketing of the province as a tourism destination.

Reeder also met with Dumaguete City Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria, Vice Mayor Woodrow Maquiling and other city officials.

Sagarbarria told the ambassador the city is now looking forward to strengthening ties with Canada through a sister-city relationship, possibly with Toronto. He said he was invited to visit the city Alameda in the United States in June this year, so he might also include a visit to Canada before returning home.

Reeder told The Freeman there are about 800,000 Filipinos in Canada, while more or less 130,000 Canadians  come to the Philippines as tourists. “Pursuing the good partnership is a good idea,” he said.

On Dumaguete, the ambassador said: “I find the city very clean, very organized. The Rizal Boulevard by the sea is beautiful; the people are very happy and relaxed.”

Reeder also mentioned the presence of many acacia trees especially inside the Silliman campus, near the Capitol area and in Rizal Boulevard. He added that the tourism industry in this part of the country is perfect and has a great potential of becoming a major tourist destination.

CANADA AMBASSADOR CITY DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY DUMAGUETE CITY DUMAGUETE CITY MAYOR MANUEL SAGARBARRIA IN DUMAGUETE LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT LOCAL GOVERNANCE SUPPORT PROGRAM NEGROS ORIENTAL NEGROS ORIENTAL GOVERNOR ROEL DEGAMO RIZAL BOULEVARD
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