TUBIG INDANGAN, Simunul, Tawi-Tawi: The Philippines’ first mosque, erected in 1380, will receive tourism support funding worth P77.6 million for road improvements and other infrastructure projects in its periphery.
Don Mustapha Loong, secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DPWH-ARMM), said the access road going to the Sheikh Karim-ul Makhdum Mosque will be improved with several other projects to be built in the area.
Located in the small fishing village of Tubig (Bohe), Indangan in Simunul town Tawi-Tawi province, the Sheikh Makhdum Mosque was declared a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission and a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum.
The infrastructure will be handled by Simunul local government based on a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed last Monday, which according to Loong, target completion is expected within three to six months.
Records show that 55,085 foreign and domestic tourists visited Tawi-Tawi in 2015 with P965 million in tourism gross receipts. The figures showed a significant increase of 14.35% in tourist arrivals and 14.34% in gross receipts in the province compared with 2014’s figures.
Tourist arrivals in the ARMM in 2015 generated more than P3 billion in tourism gross receipts spent mostly on cultural events; nature, sun and beach visits; and diving, as well as marine sports and other relevant events.
Aside from the development of the Lake Dapao Circumferential Road in Lanao del Sur, as well as the construction of access roads and water systems, Bud Bongao, Tawi-Tawi’s famous peak, was also developed with the construction of a multi-purpose hall, view deck, station point, concrete pathway and parking area.