SAGADA, Mountain Province – Foreign and domestic tourist arrivals in this mystical town are expected to significantly increase in the coming weeks following the opening of the Manila-Sagada and Sagada-Manila VIA Banaue, Ifugao route by a local bus company Thursday.
Lawyer Francis Rey Camtugan, legal counsel of Coda Lines, said there will be three daily trips from Sagada to Manila and two daily trips from Manila to Sagada to cater to the rapidly increasing demand for the bus company to service the said line in order to provide convenient travel not only for tourists but also for local residents.
He disclosed the schedule of the Sagada to Manila trips daily are 2:30 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm while the Manila to Sagada trips are 8 pm and 8:30 pm.
The company’s station here is at Poblacion while its Manila station is located at No. 18 E. Rodriguez, Sr. Avenue, barangay Don Manuel, Quezon City and can be reached easily as it is walking distance from the famous Welcome rotunda.
“We have brand new units of buses to cater to the travelling requirements of local residents and visitors. We also guarantee convenient travel as our units have their respective television sets and centralized air conditioning for the 10 to 12-hour trip,” Camtugan stressed.
He explained the term Coda is an Igorot name of one of his relatives which they used to name the company in order to preserve the same for the coming generations.
The trips will pass through the provinces of Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao, the capital town of Bontoc, Mountain Province up to its destination in Sagada and vice versa.
Camtugan, a home-grown lawyer, said the operation of the Manila to Sagada and vice versa route was one of their aspirations considering that their family has been in the transportation business for over a decade.
According to him, the company is also seeking to service the Manila to Kiangan, Ifugao line to help sustain the growth of the local tourism industry in the whole region.
Gov. Leonard Mayaen welcomed the operation of the local bus company that will service the Manila to Sagada and Sagada to Manila line in order to help restore the line servicing the capital town after the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) suspended the operation of Florida bus due to the tragic vehicular accident on February 7, 2014 that caused the death of 15 individuals and injured 32 others.
“The province’s foreign and domestic tourist arrivals significantly dropped after the suspension of the Florida bus. We are confident that we will regain the robust influx of visitors with the operation of Coda Lines considering that the summer months are the peak season for tourist arrivals,” Mayaen said.
He said the significant improvements in the state of infrastructure in the province have greatly contributed to the expected increase in foreign and domestic tourist arrivals, especially in Sagada which is known worldwide for its historic caves and scenic views that were preserved and protected through the years.
Mayaen said tourism is one of the major economic drivers in the province that is why the provincial government is closely working with concerned government agencies to uplift the economic condition of the people in the tourist destinations. By Dexter A. See