DAVAO CITY -– Two years after Typhoon Pablo, Davao Oriental laid out the blueprint of the province’s development plans to boost tourism and investment potentials with the support of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).
Provincial Information Officer Karen Lou Deloso disclosed that MinDA Secretary Luwalhati Antonino has committed to help find funding to augment the province’s earmarked budget for tourism and investment infrastructure to help not only the province but also Mindanao’s inclusive socio-economic development growth.
According to Deloso, Antonino had told Govenror Corazon Malanyaon of available funds that can be tapped and utilized, as soon as comprehensible development plans are charted and laid out on the ground.
As a directive of President Benigno S. Aqunio III, Antonino had said the national government agencies are currently fast tracking all development programs for Mindanao, noting its intention is to strengthen economy of every province here and to create more opportunities for every Mindanaoans.
Deloso said it for this reason that Antonino is extensively going around Mindanao, including Davao Oriental to learn the provinces’ bottlenecks and help them solve these blocks in order to aid them in advancing development projects.
Deloso said MinDA is supporting the Provincial Government’s Plan even surprised at how the province already established developments after Typhoon Pablo, which badly hit Davao Oriental.
Antonino was reportedly delighted to learn that the province has already established its cacao industry development program, noting the aggressive promotion of the national government support to cacao as a priority crop.
The national government eyes covering the area planted to cacao to up to 200,000 hectares all over Mindanao by the end of 2015.
“We want to capture a big share of the market. The market is growing while the supply of cacao is dwindling,” Deloso quoted Antonino as saying.
“This is the time for us in Mindanao to be able build a niche in the cacao market,” she added.
Meanwhile, Deloso disclosed that Davao Oriental has already jumpstart the province’s tourism industry.
She said Davao Oriental is endowed with a lush biodiversity and tourism potentials that included the biodiversity and tourism corridor that stretches down to Surigao.
With Davao Oriental’s amazing attractions including an airport, Deloso said the governor has presented the tourism plan which MinDa has also considered to present this to the airline industries for them to consider having flights in this side of Mindanao.
Malanyaon was determined to launch the province’s tourism industry this year, and is keeping its focus and efforts in boosting Davao Oriental’s tourism industry.
Having earmarked on a budget for tourism development sourced out from the Provincial Government coffers and some support from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), the provincial government, since last year, simultaneously implemented tourism site development in every town, including Mati City.
Malanyaon said the projects include, among others the Pintatagan Welcome Park and Shrine in Banaybanay, Mt. Hamiguitan Tourism structures in three jump-off areas in the towns of Governor Generoso, San Isidro and the City of Mati.
Also included in the development are the Pusan Point in Caraga, Sunrise Boulevard in Baganga, Riverview Park in Cateelas as well as the grand Aliwagwag Falls set to be inaugurated in April of this year.
Moreover, more projects are underway as the provincial government is fast tracking the completion of the implementation of its tourism development plan for the whole province.
Still in the pipeline are the developments in the towns of Governor Generoso, Lupon, Manay, and Boston.
“Now that we are trying to embark on tourism development projects, the idea here is to create a tourism loop, putting up a place that people can see and visit in every town,” said Malanyaon.
The governor said the province is implementing development plans that don’t only earn but also economically viable and environmentally sustainable.
She has urged the municipal mayors to be in one direction with the provincial government agenda. She encouraged them to help enhance their town’s landmarks.
“Truly, we already have such a beautiful landscape, the only thing left to do is to develop them and sustain them,” Malanyaon said.