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PIA Press Release
Wednesday, January 25, 2012


DENR takes lead of Soccsksargen’s ecotourism committee

KORONADAL CITY, Jan. 25 (PIA) -- Soccsksargen’s Regional Ecotourism Committee (REC) beginning this year will be in the hands of the regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-12).

In a ceremony on January 16, Department of Tourism -12 (DOT-12) represented by OIC Regional Director Jose B. Cabulanan formally transferred the leadership of REC to DENR-12 represented by Dr. Noel V. Dungca pursuant to Executive Order 111 entitled “Establishing the Guidelines for Ecotourism Development in the Philippines.”

Thus, for the next three years DENR-12 will lead efforts in review, evaluation, approval, and monitoring of ecotourism projects in their region; implement policies, guidelines, programs, projects and activities formulated by the Council; identification of network of ecotourism sites in the region; and recommendation of plans and programs for ecotourism; and, other activities as may be prescribed by the council. It shall also devise accreditation, including incentives mechanism, for ecotourism projects.

Director Cabulanan conveyed his appreciation to the DENR 12 leadership “for the proactive stance on ecotourism” in the region.

For his part, Dr. Dungca thanked the DOT 12 for providing the direction and leading the implementation of ecotourism programs and projects in the Region.

Also during the turn-over ceremony, South Cotabato Provincial Governor Arthur Y. Pingoy, Jr. informed participants that South Cotabato is a beneficiary of the Canadian International Development Agency -funded Local Government Support Program to develop the Ecotourism Highway which includes North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani.

South Cotabato’s Lake Sebu is Mindanao’s model site for Community-based Ecotourism. It is also touted as home of the highest zipline in Southeast Asia at 180 meters high.

The scheduled signing of memorandum of agreement (MOA) among members of the REC was postponed indefinitely pending a requirement to be met by some local government units.

Under E.O. 111, the REC assists the National Ecotourism Development Council in effectively implementing the programs and activities approved by the Council. The said committee also formulates policies, programs and guidelines relevant to the development and promotion of ecotourism in the Region and in devising an accreditation including incentives mechanism for ecotourism projects.

The REC is composed of the Regional Director of DOT, the Regional Executive Director of DENR, Regional Technical Director for Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service of the DENR, NEDA-Philippine Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), non-government organization(s), including representatives of concerned local government units and private sector. (DEDoguiles/PIA 12/MCalungsod-Locsin/DENR 12)

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