Tubigon, Bohol prepares to launch Sea to Sea eco-tourism project

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014


THE municipality of Tubigon in Bohol is gearing up for an eco-tourism project that is expected to draw in both local and foreign tourists in the coming months.

Tubigon Mayor Marlon Amila told Sun.Star Cebu in a recent interview that their town has allotted P1.5 million for its Sea to Sea project.

The project will develop the Kabgan Islet in Tubigon, which is being considered to be launched next month.

The five-hectare new tourism site will serve as a bat and bird watching destination in Bohol. There is also an endemic specie of mangrove in Kabgan, said municipal administrator Noel Mendaña.

As an eco-tourism project, the community that will directly benefit from the program will be the residents of Barangay Macaas, which is the nearest barangay from Kabgan.

The Tubigon local government already finished training 60 participants while the place is being developed. Boardwalks and reception centers are still being set up.

Kabgan is a 10-minute travel by sea from Tubigon.

The mayor said that the Sea to Sea project was already planned before the 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit Bohol in October last year.

Livelihood

With the continuing rehabilitation of Tubigon, the mayor hopes that the tourism project will add to the livelihood and income of its residents.

The town’s main source of livelihood, according to Amila, is agriculture, fishery and trading.

Although Tubigon is not endowed with white sand beaches, Amila said they have “many resources that have a potential for tourism.”

Tubigon took in community tourism advocate Boboi Costas of Grassroots Travel as consultant for the project, said Mendaña. He said Kabgan Islet was identified as an ideal tourism site.

Amila said they have not marketed Kabgan yet. But he expressed optimism that once it starts to gain exposure, tourists will flock to the islet.

Eco-tourism refers to a form of sustainable tourism that aims “to protect natural
resources and provide financial benefits to the community.”

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said during the fifth World Ecotourism Conference in February that the potential market for ecotourism in the Philippines is high. Based on the National Ecotourism Strategy (NES), they expected 1.25 million visitors last year and 1.49 million in 2016.

Bohol is one of the provinces in the country that has become popular for eco-tourism destinations. Last February, the Department of Tourism conducted a technical tour in the province for the fifth World Ecotourism Conference.

Amila told Sun.Star Cebu thatTubigon is no longer experiencing power interruptions, Livelihood assistance to its residents from both government and non-government organizations are also ongoing, he said.

Tubigon is located in the northwestern part of Bohol and is 54 kilometers to the north of Tagbilaran. Being much closer to Cebu, Tubigon makes a good alternative port of entrance to Bohol.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 24, 2014.

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