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BAUKO, Mountain Province – Mayor Abraham B. Akilit is proposing the reconstruction of the historic Mount Data Hotel instead of the programmed rehabilitation and improvement of the government-owned accommodation facility.
The local chief executive pointed out that the State-owned Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) should already study the possibility of building a much bigger accommodation structure that can accommodate more visitors while maintaining the aesthetics and historical value for the benefit of the sustainable growth of the local tourism industry.
“We urge TIEZA officers to work out the implementation of the programmed rehabilitation of the hotel and consider our proposal to instead construct a much bigger accommodation facility capable of accommodating the foreign and domestic tourists flocking to the province year-round,” Mayor Akilit stressed.
The Mountain Province government returned to the former Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA), now the TIEZA, the management and operation of the Mount Data Hotel in early 2016 after 10 years of managing the same but the accommodation facility was eventually closed to undergo rehabilitation.
However, the rehabilitation of the historic hotel was never implemented since the accommodation facility was closed for reasons known only to TIEZA.
Akilit claimed that with the presence of a decent accommodation facility in the municipality, foreign and domestic tourists will be enticed to stay longer in the municipality for them to be able to visit the established scenic ecotourism destinations which the local government had been working on over the past 6 years of his administration.
According to him, tourism is the way to go for Bauko because of the presence of numerous sceneries due to the well preserved and protected environment thus the immediate operation of the Mount Data Hotel can be helpful in increasing the number of tourists in the locality.
The Mount Data Hotel was the venue for the signing of the 1986 peace agreement between the Philippine government under then former President Corazon C. Aquino and the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) headed by former rebel priest Conrado Balweg on September 13, 1986.
Akilit stated the proposed put-up of a much bigger structure will not compromise its aesthetics and historical value considering that it is already a famous landmark not only in the municipality but also the whole region.
He asserted the municipal government cannot afford the rapid deterioration of the Mount Data Hotel due to its non-use, thus, the TIEZA has to immediate implement its programmed rehabilitation while working on the proposal to subject the same to reconstruction so that the municipality and the province will have a decent accommodation facility to boost the growth of the local tourism industry.
The Mount Data Hotel is located at the top of the Mount data plateau within the over 5,000-hectare Mount Data National Park that straddles the mountain ranges from Acop, Tublay, Benguet up to Bontoc, Mountain Province. By HENT