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Partners cite tourism a major tool for socio-economic development

TAGUM CITY, Davao De Oro – Project partners underscored people, accessibility, wildlife conservation, peace and order as strategic tools in tourism development in the  province.

The partners issued their shared sentiments at the culmination program of the province’s tourism month celebration and recognition of tourism partners held at Big 8 Hotel in Tagum City on September 29, World Tourism Day.

In her welcome address, provincial tourism officer Christine Dompor acknowledged the partners for contributing resources to the development of tourism in the province from the opening of tourism and industry access roads to peace and order, investment on a world class island resort, legislative support, and hotel expansion.

On access roads, Engr. Edwin Ortiz of the district engineer’s office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) enumerated the PhP330 million worth of tourism road access projects implemented under the DOT-DPWH Tourism Road Infrastructure Priority Projects-Convergence (TRIPP-C) in 2015 to 2016 and additional 15 road projects worth almost PhP400 million to be implemented in the two districts of the province in 2018.

Engr. Ortiz said DPWH and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) have also partnered to build access roads leading to agriculture and industry processing centres.  It is called Roads Leveraging Linkages-Trade and Industry (ROLL-IT).

To the builders of Lubi Plantation in Kopiat Island, protecting the nesting sites of marine turtles is a priority, assured Huey Tan, business head for Visayas and Mindanao of the Torre de Lorenzo Group of Companies.

Tan said the 37-hectare beach development veers away from regular resorts with its 1920s Dutch colonial plantation theme. Comval, he said, is known for its gold. But the real gold, he noted are its people.

On peace and order, Col. Erwin Neri, commander of the 1001st Brigade of the 10th Infantry Division based in the province, assured that the peace and order situation in Davao De Oro is “vastly improving”.

Building roads, Col. Neri said, would help address the concern. “It is one of the best answers to insurgency,” he said.

Joanna Gentugaya, chairperson of the committee on tourism of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, described the support of the tourism partners as “inspiring”. Board member Gentugaya said her committee would soon convene a technical working group to review the draft proposed tourism code for the province.

To honour their contributions, the provincial government through the tourism office awarded plaques of  recognition to the partners including plaques of conquest to the Davao mountaineering team and local staff who participated in the evaluation and physical mapping of the White Peak trail in Andap, New Bataan on September 22-23 as part of the activities of the province’s tourism month celebration. (jpa/paotourism/ids).

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