Five municipalities in Cebu are hoping for financial support from the Cebu Provincial Government for their respective Midwest eco-tourism proposals.
These are Aloguinsan for its Proposed Dolphin Watching Eco-tourism Project, Alegria for River Canyons of Alegria, Tabuelan’s Proposed Batawang River Eco-tour, Asturias’ Buswang Eco-Park Adventure, and the Gaas River Adventure of Balamban.
Since the death anniversary of the late President Ramon Magsaysay is about two months away, Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, who chairs the provincial tourism body, suggested to the local government of Balamban that it be included in its list of eco-tourism activities in connection with the eco-tourism project.
The eco-tourism projects are in line with Gov. Hilario Davide III’s six-point agenda, which has remained the same since he assumed office.
Each local government unit (LGU) is to comply with requirements by the province before they are entitled to the funding. The province has set aside P16 million for this community-based tourism project. Each LGU is also to come up with counterpart funding. The proposals also covered sustainability plans, management organization and operational plans, use of social media, personal selling, and marketing.
During the recent presentation of proposals at the Capitol Social Hall, the participating LGUs through their eco–tourism warriors reasoned out that the financial assistance they are asking from the province will be for the construction of briefing centers, docking wharves, land acquisition, improvement of activity sites, rest rooms, floating restaurants for LGUs with river cruises, and safety equipment for the adventure type of activities.
Aloguinsan is going for P4-million assistance from the province, Alegria P5.5 million, Tabuelan P3 million, Asturias P3.5 million, and Balamban P2.7 million.
Soon, Cebu will have real eco-tourism-based floating restaurants. Local guests and foreign tourists will enjoy the experience of a lifetime with native food dug up from recipe books featuring only recipes handed down from generations
Magpale disclosed to the eco-tourism warriors during the presentation that the budget set aside by the Capitol for the project will be apportioned among the five municipalities in the Midwest participating in the eco-tourism project.
The Midwest circuit is slated for formal launching on April 16, 2016.
The eco-tourism proposals are a product of months of brain-storming and meetings and making the eco-warriors understand the importance why the thrust is eco-tourism.
Tourism Consultant Joselito “ Boboi” R. Costas explained that what Cebu lacks are environment-friendly destinations. Tourist destinations in other parts of the globe are cited for their lush forests while Cebu is popular for its beaches, shopping, hospitality, and seafood.
Cebu has lost endangered species of forest trees and animals like the Cebu pygmy buffalo, Visayan spotted deer, Visayan warty pig, and 39 forest birds, including the Philippine cuckatoo and the Philippine leaf bird.
All of the towns in the project facing Tañon Strait can still put Cebu back on the top of the map through the eco-tourism projects because they have existing natural sites and wonders. Fides Palecte