ATOK, Benguet -- More plans for Sakura Park here are being planned to promote the sisterhood park as tourism site in the province.
“Once the developments are developed and the policies are in place. For the numerous programs of Kochi such as trainings to agriculturists, engineers and the health sector the tourism sector will now benefit from the sisterhood program with the establishment of this park,” said Benguet Provincial Tourism Officer Eleazar Carias in his presentation on site with delegates of Kochi Prefecture Government in Japan.
To recall some 35 Sakura trees were planted on June 6, 2016. The Benguet Kochi Sisterhood park is a commemoration of the 48th sisterhood anniversary for both provinces.
Following the establishment of several trees, introduced programs were conducted due to the tourist going to the area. The Benguet Provincial Government conducted series of tourism lectures and organized barangay tourism council.
Carias added in 2017, the Provincial Government installed fences. This year Phase II of the project is set to continue including the construction of a comfort room in 2019.
A proposal for widening of the road going to the park has submitted to the national government amounting to P100 million.
He cited plans for the park to construct an elevated walk way or board walk within the area and towards the forest for visitors to walk around safely and have better realization of the park.
“With the realization of this project, forest bathing, can be introduced to the area.”
Edward Haight, chair of the adhoc committee for the Sakura Park stated 1.8 million visitors for one year gained from the tourist site following the presence of Sakura trees.
He relayed the influx of tourist came as a surprise and urged the cooperation of municipal, barangay and both Japan and Benguet Government in the planning, landscaping and development of the area.
“With the planning of the Kochi sisterhood park I would like to give attention on this that may we ask the Benguet government, Japan government and the barangay and the community to help in the development because this area have attracted a lot of tourist around the world.”
Before finally establishing a park for the 48th sisterhood anniversary several suggestions include: cultural exchange, cooking exhibition, vegetable packaging, and sports event.
On the same day, Norikazu Sawamura, Deputy Director of International Affairs Division of Department of Culture and Community of the Kochi Prefectural Government in Japan urged for both provinces to keep good relationship together.