THE Bago City Government said plans to further develop the 22-hectare Bantayan Park in Poblacion village, as it has already acquired ownership over portions of the property from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

City officials led by Mayor Nicholas Yulo received the land title from Provincial Environment and Natural Resources head Andres Untal in a symbolic turnover ceremony held during the opening of the Agro-Industrial, Cultural and Education Fair at the Bantayan Park on Monday, February 13.

Yulo said the city initially acquired ownership for the 15-hectare portion of the park while the remaining seven hectares are still pending for application.

“The development of Bantayan Park is included in the urbanization initiative of the city,” Yulo said, adding that they have already tapped students and teachers of the La Consolacion College-Bacolod for the creation of the development plan.

In October last year, the city launched the Bantayan Park Food Market positioned to make Bago the food capital of Negros Occidental.

Through the food market, Bantayan has been offering a new place for tourists to experience the rich Bagoeño cuisine.

Aside from the bay walk, current attractions at the park include the booths and pavilions of the 24 villages.

For his part, Vice Mayor Ramon Torres said the City Government is bent on developing Bantayan as a mixed-use area due to its huge potentials.

A Japanese group proposed to establish a port in this place, Torres said.

“Given more time and proper planning, we are optimistic to realize all these goals,” Torres added.

With the acquisition of the property, the officials said the area can now be included in the development and investment plans of the provincial government.

The development of Bantayan is seen to really spur economic gains for the province, especially to Bago City, they added.