MP tourism code enhanced; IRR crafted

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BONTOC, Mt. Province – More than 60 stakeholders of the tourism industry met August 15, 16, and 17, 2017 to recommend measures and specific provisions to enhance the ten year old Provincial Tourism Code of the province. The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) was also provided.

This 3 day activity was sponsored by the Committee on Environmental Protection and Tourism of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan chaired by Board Member Donato Danglose in coordination with the Provincial Tourism Office.

Board Member Danglose, in his opening remarks reminded the participants that the activity is the continuation of the consultation conducted last year with the same purpose. “This time, I am optimistic that we have prepared for this and that we will positively come out with the final version before the end of the year”, he said.

Pancho Reyes, who represented the Provincial Governor in the preliminary program, urged the participants not to focus only on provisions geared toward the development of the tourism sites but to include provisions for the preservation of culture and the arts and the environment.

During the workshop, the participants were assigned to clusters. The province is clustered in tourism purposes, namely Sabangan, Bauko, and Tadian (SABATA), Sagada and Besao (SAGBES), Bontoc and Safanga (BONSAD), and Paracelis, Natonin, Barlig (PANABA).

The call for the preservation of culture and the environment was rightly done with the recommendation of the Barlig cluster through its presentor, Daniel Maches, who emphasized the importance of preserving the cultural heritage of each municipalities. His call for the environmental protection and preservation was echoed by other participants.

Paulino Tumapang, Jr., Chairperson of the Lang-ay Festival and Manager of the Pearl Café, underscored the provisions of the national guidelines on eco-tourism through the National Eco-Tourism Strategy and Action Plan up to year 2022. Specific provisions on this concern were included in the recommendations.

A Technical Working Group (TWG) was formed to finalize the provisions of the Code.

Among those in attendance were the Municipal Tourism Action Officers, some members of the SP Committee, Municipal Vice Mayors, Municipal Councilors, representatives from the association of hotels, restaurants, tour guides, transport groups, souvenir item merchants, NCIP, and Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) in the municipalities and province.

By Roger Sacyaten

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