CAR eyed as eco-tourism zone

OWING to its vast natural wonders, the Cordillera Administrative Region is being eyed as an eco - tourism zone to be included in the proposed Philippine economic zone map project.

The proposed ecozone map is spearheaded by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority in a bid to promote the creation and development of regional economic zone initiatives and encourage the creation of more sites for investors which is among the discussions during the Luzon ecozone summit.

“The map will make clear the locations of all ecozones in the country and will it make easier for our foreign and local investors to choose which ecozone they will locate their industries given the data and profile of every ecozone,” Charito Plaza, Peza director-general said.

Plaza is optimistic of the prospects of the project following positive feedback on the agency’s programs to create more economic zones in provinces and cities nationwide.

The Luzon summit was attended by governors, city and municipal mayors, business chambers, land owners, heads of agencies, and foreign and local speakers.

The promotion of ecotorusim in the Cordillera, according to Plaza will also help locals create livelihood in their areas.

Just recently, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) is pushing for the promotion of 40 ecotourism sites across the region identified for protection and marketed as major tourism sites.

The list was however shortlisted into six priority ecotourism sites which are the Chico River, the Balbalasang-Balbalan National Park, and the Madaldalpong mountain range in Kalinga; the Marag Valley-Agova Wildlife Sanctuary in Apayao; the municipality of Sagada in Mountain Province; the Mt. Napulawan-Mt. Kalawitan mountain range extending to Mountain Province and Ifugao; and the Ibulao River in Ifugao.

To dispel fears of unbalanced tourism and environmental management, DENR urged DOT to promote the ecotourism sites in the Cordilleras in an environmental perspective to prevent destruction of sites due to uncontrolled tourism. (Roderick Osis)

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