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BAUKO, Mountain Province – The State-owned Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) started the implementation of the P36 million rehabilitation of the government-owned Mount Data Hotel to pave the way for its eventual operation by the last quarter of this year.
Mayor Abraham B. Akilit said that the repair works on the Mount Data Hotel started three weeks ago after the project was awarded by TIEZA to a Manila-based contractor considering the need for the operation of the tourism facility that will provide additional accommodation establishments for foreign and domestic visitors frequenting the province and other tourist destinations in the central Cordillera.
Earlier, the TIEZA, through various requests from the Office of Mountain Province Rep. Maximo Y. Dalog, Jr. and Mayor Akilit, earmarked some P36 million for the implementation of initial repair works in the Mount Data Hotel to improve its current state which will help entice foreign and domestic visitors to stay in the accommodation facility when visiting the different tourist spots around the province and different parts of the region.
“We hope that the contractor will be able to complete the programmed repair works by August as per schedule so that the Mount Data Hotel will be operational by the last quarter of this year when there will be an influx of foreign and domestic tourists wanting to enjoy the scenic tourist spots around the province and other parts of the region,” Mayor Akilit stressed.
The Mount Data Hotel was built by the former Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) now known as the TIEZA to serve as an accommodation facility for the increasing number of foreign and domestic tourists frequenting the province and the central Cordillera for them to be convinced to spend more time in the province and see for themselves different scenic and historic tourist destinations around the region.
The Mount Data Hotel also played a key role in the rich history of the Cordillera as it served as the venue for the signing of the Mount Data peace agreement between the Philippine government under the leadership of former President Corazon C. Aquino and the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army – Cordillera Bodong Administration (CPLA-CBA) headed by former rebel priest Conrado Balweg on September 13, 1986.
Akilit claimed that the operation of the Mount Data hotel will help in boosting the growth of the local tourism industry because by staying overnight in the said facility, foreign and domestic tourists will have a chance to visit the different scenic tourist spots in the different parts of the municipality which is now being aggressively promoted by the municipal government.
Among the existing tourist spots in the municipality include some trekking sites leading to the nearby municipalities of Sagada and Sabangan, the towering and majestic mountains, the various vegetable plantation areas, well preserved forest cover and waterfalls situated in different parts of the locality.
The local chief executive disclosed that the local government identified ecotourism as one of the town’s major economic driver considering that it is important to maximize the potentials of the good state of the environment to entice foreign and domestic visitors to patronize its scenic tourist spots established in the 22 barangays.