P100-M ecotourism subsidy set for North Cotabato

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North Cotabato’s “aggressive” ecotourism development initiatives gained foothold with the appropriation of P100-million corresponding subsidy from the national government.

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Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza of North Cotabato province announced this at the sidelines of the preparations for the 2013 Kalivungan Festival slated on August 26 to September 1, a celebration for the 99th founding anniversary of North Cotabato.

Mendoza said the P100-million fund has been incorporated in the general appropriations Act of 2014 as a subsidy for implementation by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and concerned line agencies in her province next year.

She said a bulk of the appropriation is set for the construction of accessory facilities of the Asik-asik falls in Alamada town being one of top ten ecotourism destinations in the province.

“This [subsidy]would boost our more aggressive initiatives to harness our socio-cultural and ecology-based tourism potentials and elevate our province to greater heights,” Gov. Mendoza said.

However, the lady governor could not give details of the appropriation. Mendoza was closely supervising the preparations for the upcoming festival and other efforts aimed at addressing the effects of recent floods and armed atrocities in some towns of North Cotabato.

Meanwhile, DOT officials in Region 12 said they would actively participate in the Kalivungan Festival to highlight the tourism potentials of North Cotabato, and attract local and foreign tourists’ visits of top ten emerging wonders of the province.

Among the freshly discovered tourism sites in the province is the 140-meter falls in Alamada town, which the DOT recently in a national competition sponsored by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation recently.

The province’s nine other wonders are the Asia’s longest zipline (2.3 kilometer-long) in Makilala town, the Mt. Apo (country’s highest peak), Agco volcanic spring, the Pisan Cave in Kabacan town, the Spanish-built Fort in Pikit town, the Moro delicacy-making village in Pikit, the Tausuvan falls in Magpet town, the magnificent water-tubing in Alamada, and the panoramic view of banana plantations in Makilala town.

“North Cotabato has many wonderful things for tourists to visit. The Kalivungan Festival is one moment to showcase these wonders,” a DOT-Region 12 statement said. MOH I. SAADUDDIN

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