It will be more fun in the Philippines as both local and foreign tourists will have more scenic destinations to enjoy.
The House committee on tourism chaired by Rep. Lucy Gomez approved seven bills which declare certain parts of the country as ecotourism zones/sites and tourist destinations.
These are House Bills 5072, 5229, 5230, 5231, 5332, 5333 and 5720.
House Bill 5072 proposes to declare the Bucari Area in the Province of Iloilo as ecotourism zone to be known as Bucari Ecotourism Zone.
Rep. Arcadio Gorriceta, author of the bill, said Bucari has a temperature comparable to that of Baguio City and vast areas of forests consisting mainly of pine trees.
He described Bucari as an area with breathtaking scenery, with 21 waterfalls, beautiful flora and fauna, and numerous mini rice terraces.
Meanwhile, House Bill 5229 seeks to declare Passig Islet of Barangay Bato in the Municipality of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur as an aqua-ecotourism site.
Rep. Mercedes Cagas, also an author of the bill, said the Passig Islet, an aqua-eco park resort, is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the province because of its serene environment, clear water and white sand.
She said Passig Islet, which boasts of an astonishing ambience of tropical leisure, could easily become a good choice for travelers and locals who want to engage in aqua-ecotourism activities such as nature viewing, bird watching, swimming, picnic, photography and camping.
Cagas also authored House Bills 5231 and 5230 which seek to declare Balutakay in the Municipality of Bansalan, Province of Davao del Sur and Kapatagan in Digos, Davao del Sur as eco-tourism sites, respectively.
She described Barangay Balutakay as one of the areas in the country with high coffee production potentials as well as home to Salinta Monon who is described to be the “last Bagobo weaver” and a National Manlilikha awardee.
Cagas said the declaration will promote the preservation of the knowledge and technique of weaving the traditional Bagobo-Tagabawa textiles which have been on the verge of extinction for years.
Relatedly, Kapatagan is positioned at the foot of the prominent Mount Apo which Cagas described as “a breathtaking volcano that has been the subject of many local and international publications.
House Bills 5332 and 5333, authored by Rep. Frederick Abueg, propose to declare Mudlom Cave and Sangaran Cave in Quezon, Palawan as tourist destinations, respectively.
Meanwhile, House Bill 5720 seeks to declare Iligan City as a tourism development area.
Author Rep. Frederick Siao said Iligan City can offer a variety of tourist destinations for travelers looking for the “off the beaten track” or unusual tourist attractions that are scarcely offered currently in the market.
Siao said Iligan City, dubbed as the “City of Majestic Waterfalls”, has many magnificent waterfalls like Maria Crstina, Limunsudan, and Tinago Falls to name a few, a dozen natural springs in Timoga-Buruun, forested mountain of Mt. Agad-Agad, pristine forest of Rogongon and Digkilaan and coastal areas ready to be tapped for development.
“Iligan City is an ideal gateway to usher in visitors to the many splendid attractions that Northern Mindanao has to offer, including an educated population and low crime rate, ” Siao said. /MVI Palomar