Eco-tourism park in Benguet town eyed

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Monday, March 4, 2013


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- An eco-tourism venture is being eyed in an abandoned property of a mining company in the town of Bokod, Benguet.

Bokod Mayor Mauricio Mackay said the area called Bobok Saw Mill of the Benguet Corporation Inc. is strategic for the development of an eco-tourism park.

The property covers 35 hectares but the area with improvements is about 20 hectares, according to Mackay.

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Bobok is strategically located near the Baguio-Ambucklao-Nueva Viscaya Road, which links Benguet in the Cordillera to Cayapa, Nueva Viscaya in Cagayan Valley. The area is ideal for camps and sports facilities. The problem, though, is the absence of facilities such as hotels or lodging areas and dining areas.

Mackay said since they are promoting Bokod through tourism, their interest to convert Bobok into an eco-tourism park was kindled.

He said the Benguet Corporation had initial plans to convert the area into an eco-tourism park way back.

In reawakening such idea, the Municipal Government initiated consultations presenting the eco-tourism concept and discussions on its benefits involving various stakeholders in the barangay and Provincial Government and the Benguet Corporation.

The town also involved consultations with some claimants in the area, including concerned government agencies such as the Department of Tourism, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Power Corporation and the community.

Mackay said there were already two initial consultations carried out and majority of those present were supportive to the plan.

The next move is to come up with a comprehensive eco-tourism plan to include other concerned agencies such as the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.

Discussions on the issues relative to the claimants’ concerns will be fleshed out, he added. (Susan Aro)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 05, 2013.

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