PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Ifugao gov says agro-tourism will boost economy of the provinceby Vency D. Bulayungan
LAGAWE, Ifugao, Jan. 3 (PIA) -- The provincial chief executive here believes that promoting agro-tourism of the province will help alleviate the economic situation of the people here.
Speaking in the daily radio program "Humangan with PIA," Governor Eugene Balitang said that this year 2012, the provincial government will prioritize agriculture and tourism which he believe will boost the economy of the 11 towns and 175 barangays with 10 economic zones here.
“We will focus on agriculture and tourism and go back to the basics by going over the One Town One Product (OTOP) of each municipality and try to see the potentials of the each OTOP,” Balitang said.
The different towns have the following OTOP: Alfonso Lista is corn; Aguinaldo- cow; Lamut-tilapia; Banaue and Hingyon- tinawon rice ; Hungduan - yuyu (Japanese fish); Tinoc –vegetables; Kiangan- blacksmith and ricewine making; Asipulo -ube and Lagawe- coffee.
Balitang is contemplating in coming up with one common OTOP for the municipalities that is commercially competitive in the local and foreign market. We will revisit our OTOPs as we start the year and agree to have a common product, he said.
He mentioned tinawon (Ifugao native rice) rice can be one products which according to him also promotes tourism. It will highlight our pride as Ifugaos, he said. He sees the convergence of line agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agrarian Reform and the Department of Trade and Industry who can help the local government units for the success of the said project.
Another product which he mentioned is Arabica coffee because he believes that this product is like ‘shooting two birds at the same time’; it will support the national greening program of the Aquino Administration since all the municipalities will be planting coffee and also boost the economy.
Balitang also said that the rich culture of the people will boost the tourism of the different towns here which is rooted to the rice terraces. “Nobody will take this away from us and even though our terraces are on the verge of being delisted from the wonders of the world, we are still proud that our terraces was once the 8th wonder of the world,” he said.
He also appealed to the public to continue the good values of an Ifugao such as “Baddang” (free labor) system. ‘Let’s continue this good value which was started by our ancestors and we should do something first before seeking the help of the government,” Balitang said. (JDP/VDB- PIA CAR, Ifugao)