Tuesday August 21, 2018

Isabela proposes P2.5B for tourism development plan

IN its bid to make the locality as the top tourism destination in Negros Island, the Municipal Government of Isabela is proposing for a P2.5 billion worth of tourism development plan, its top official said Monday, May 21.

Mayor Joselito Malabor, who visited the Department of Tourism (DOT) last week, said the agency has advised him to come up with a five-year tourism development plan.

Malabor said he was told by Undersecretary Marco Bautista to make an “ambitious” projects for the agency to study.

“With this gesture of the DOT official, our vision now is to make Isabela the top tourist destination in Negros,” he said, adding that “what is good with the Duterte administration now is being accessible to local government units like us.”

On its development plan up for submission to the DOT, the municipal government proposes P2.5 billion worth of various projects be sourced out from various national government agencies.

These include P350 million worth of site improvement, and infrastructure development for the Holy Mountain in Barangay Mansablay.

Formerly called Glory Hill, the upland destination is being visited by 20,000 to 30,000 pilgrims every Holy Week.

Malabor said given the huge potential of the area, they are expecting an increase of tourists to about 50,000 next year.

“A team from the Office of the President is visiting the site on June 3,” Malabor said, adding that they have yet to pass an ordinance officially naming the area as Holy Mountain, and providing additional funds for its further development.

Aside from faith tourism, other projects proposed by the municipal government are geared towards the development of the farm, cultural, and ecotourism sub-sector of the locality.

The mayor recognized the need to have “ambitious” development plan.

“Or else, we will lag behind Patag in Silay City, Campuestohan Highland Resort in Talisay City, Mambukal Mountain Resort in Murcia, and beaches in Cauayan, Sipalay City, and Hinoba-an,” Malabor said.