PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
JHMC stresses support to Baguio city’s tourism, environment preservationby Lito Dar
BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 17 (PIA) - - The John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC) stressed its support to boost the city’s tourism and at the same time to help in the protection and preservation of the city’s remaining forest reserve.
This was affirmed by JHMC President and CEO Jamie Eloise Agbayani, during the Department of Tourism (DOT-CAR)- led Regional Tourism Conference here last week.
According to Agbayani, JHMC is set to implement a Medium Term Development Plan for Camp John Hay starting this 2012 whose primary objective is to help boost the city’s tourism by putting in more attractions inside the camp for both local and foreign visitors.
“We would like to bring more visitors including the city folks inside Camp John Hay,” Agbayani stressed.
First on the JHMC’s agenda is the rehabilitation of the camp’s Historical Core, which according to Agbayani, is the soul of Camp John Hay and one of the remaining original American architecture inside the camp.
“We are going to rehabilitate the core and we will put in activities such as arts festivals and concerts. I have already talked to the academe to help in bringing in the Cordillera culture, hoping to preserve such culture, not only by educating the tourists but the youth and the locals as well,” Agbayani added.
She also disclosed other agro-forestry project through a partnership with Canadian company, Rocky Mountain Arabica Coffee. “We are going to plant coffee on about 60 hectare area inside the camp, which somehow would also help in reforestation effort of the city”, Agbayani said.
For other environmental projects, Agbayani said the JHMC is also pushing for renewable energy. It will be upgrading the mini-hydro inside the John Hay reservation which would not only benefit the camp but the city as well.
The said mini-hydro which was built by the Americans is a 500kw power plant, but according to the initial studies made by JHMC’s proponent, it can be upgraded to 3.8 Mwatts which could be shared to the city as the camp’s energy requirement is only about 1.5 Mwatts.
Agbayani, in an interview, also dismissed the issue that there is an indiscriminate cutting of trees inside Camp John Hay. He stressed that they have close coordination with the city government through Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Executive Director Clarence Baguio as far as monitoring and overseeing tree cutting inside the camp is concerned.
Agbayani outlined the five-point development plan for JHMC to include IT Service Export Processing Zone; Medical Tourism Zone; Educational Tourism Zone; Sports and Recreation Centers; and Eco Cultural Tourism.(JDP/LD-PIA CAR)