THE Provincial Planning and Development office (PPDO) is preparing a detailed engineering plan for some eco-tourism projects proposed by five local governments in the south and mid-west parts of Cebu Province.
“We will try so that each municipality will get a funding allocation,” said Benjamin Joseph Yap of the Capitol’s Cebu Promotions and Investment Office (CIPO).
Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino said that the executive department “can always request for a supplemental budget, if the project is worthy.”
Aloguinsan, Alegria, Tabuelan, Asturias, and Balamban tourism officers presented last Jan. 4 their eco-tourism projects for the Capitol’s approval and funding. These amounted to P22.9 million.
Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale said that the Provincial Board (PB) set aside P16 million in its Annual Investment Plan (AIP) for such projects.
“We will still evaluate their project plans and check their viability,” said Magpale.
Once the plan is done, each project proposal will be assessed and, if needed, modified, said Yap.
Boboi Costas, the Capitol’s tourism consultant, earlier explained that eco-tourism is directed toward exotic natural environments, but emphasizes support for conservation efforts and preservation of wildlife.
Aloguinsan, the town that became popular for its Bojo River Cruise, proposed a dolphin-watching project that will cost P6 million to implement.
Alegria’s canyoneering project proposal needs P6 million.
Magpale, during the towns’ presentation, said that the PB already approved the release of P1 million each for Alegria and Badian’s reception center.
The center for each town will house the guests’ waiting area and comfort room.
The towns’ tourism officers told Magpale that the approved amount is on top of their proposed project amount.
Tabuelan’s proposed P3.2-million Batawang River Cruise project includes construction of a docking area and passengers, waiting lounge, as the local government already set aside funds for a floating restaurant.
The river cruise will cover a 2.46-kilometer stretch that will feature floating restaurants.
Asturias presented the proposed Buswang Eco-park, which will develop the Buswang Lake that straddles Barangay Bago and Barangay Sta. Rita. It will allow guests to go kayaking, and will also feature a boardwalk, fish pen, floating restaurant and cottages, for those who wish to stay overnight.
There is a cave at one end of the lake and fish raised by a local association.
The proposed development will need about P3.5 million.
Balamban, for its part, needs P4.2 million to realize the Breath-taking Balamban project in the mountain barangay of Gaas, which includes a river trek, seven waterfalls and a campsite in Mt. Manunggal, where the airplane carrying then president Ramon Magsaysay crashed in March 1957.
The project will also develop the picnic and existing recreational facilities, like the zip line and highland restaurants.