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PIA Press Release

DOT 8 holds capability enhancement seminars for stakeholders

Tacloban City (February 29) -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) Regional Office 8 is scheduled to conduct a Capability Enhancement Seminar for the members of the Sohoton Services Association and Community Based Resource Management Organization of Barangay Guirang, on March 37, 2008 at Balantak Resort, Barangay Guirang, Basey, Samar.

DOT 8 Director Karina Rosa Tiopes informed that this seminar is the third of the series of capability building seminars which are aimed at capacitating the community on the development and management of the Sohoton Caves and Natural Bridge located in Basey, Samar, as a means of income augmentation within the framework of biodiversity conservation and development.

DOT 8 has already conducted the Local Cave Guiding Training on January 14-18, 2008 and the Kayaking and First Aide Training on February 4-7, 2008 where the participants are the members of the Sohoton Services Association and the cave guides from other barangays of the Municipality of Basey, Director Tiopes added.

The Sohoton Caves and Natural Bridge which is located in Basey, Samar, the banig capital of the Region, is the most visited ecotourism destination in Eastern Visayas, Director Tiopes said. This is the reason why it has been identified as the pilot area for the Community-Based Sustainable Tourism Project of the Department of Tourism.

Director Tiopes disclosed that the project is anchored on organizing Community-Based Sustainable Tourism livelihood projects and capacitate communities ready to implement CBST livelihood ventures.

In line with the Eastern Visayas Tourism Master Plan which is consistent with the objectives and strategies of the Samar Island National Park General Management Plan, the Department of Tourism prepared an Ecotourism Action plan that will ensure a more dynamic, responsible and sustainable tourism development in the area.

The Ecotourism Action Plan recommended the Community Based Sustainable Tourism Project with the pilot area identified as the Mt. Sohoton Bridge located in Basey, Samar.

The Project has two components, the first is the community preparation and the second is capability building on CBST livelihood project. The Project in Basey is on the second component, Director Tiopes said.

After the conduct of skills training, the purchase of equipments like kayak and life vests, safety helmet with headlight, first aid kits and cave guiding uniforms; and post product development like media familiarization tour, brochure production, establishment of network with industry players, and communication plan will follow, Director Tiopes concluded. (PIA 8) [top]

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