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PIA Press Release

Sorsogon pushes Bac-Man geothermal as prime ecotourism spot

by BA Recebido

Sorsogon Province (4 February) -- The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is currently developing the Bacon-Manito Geothermal Production Field (BGPF) as Sorsogon's prime ecotourism destination.

Engr. Liberato S. Virata, EDC-BGPF resident manager, said that the corporation has initially organized BGPF ecotourism planning team, composed of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), local government units of Sorsogon City, Castilla town, this province and Manito, Albay, and EDC-BacMan host communities.

Virata added that the planning team also participated in a three-day Ecotourism Planning Seminar Workshop drawing out priority activities in the identification and development of ecotourism in the area.

He also said that important components contributory to the development of the geothermal site as the province's prime ecotourism destination were presented and discussed during the workshop crafting the EDC's ecotourism vision.

The vision states a unique forest-based geothermal ecotourism destination advocating balance of nature and technology, preserving bio-diversity, generating livelihood opportunities and empowering local communities committed to imprint a greening legacy to all Filipinos.

It can be recalled that a year ago, the power firm launched its intensified re-greening program dubbed as "Binhi: A Greening Legacy".

Four components made up the project such as "Tree for the Future" highlighting the preservation of indigenous premium forest species by establishing tree parks, "Tree for Life" that bridges the forest gaps for biodiversity conservation, "Tree for Food" which establishes forest plantations to provide livelihood to upland communities, and the "Tree for Leisure" which develops reservation as ecotourism sites.

Virata said that the "Tree for Leisure" will develop the geothermal reservations into an ecotourism destination putting emphasis on biodiversity conservation nature-appreciation particularly on the natural features and the forest beauty of the EDC-BGPF project sites.

"Likewise, it will provide recreation, enjoyment and study sites for students, visitors and local communities, and consequently provide livelihood opportunities for the communities," he explained.

Recognizing the vast potential of this geothermal reservation, EDC-BGPF has already been chosen as one of the Ms. Earth's official destination for two consecutive years now.

Meanwhile, ecotourism sites in the geothermal site like Botong Twin Falls, Mud Pool, Nag-aso Cave, Danao Lake and Butterfly Garden were also assessed based from the criteria set by the Department of Tourism and the University of the Philippines College of Forestry and Natural Resources.

Department of Tourism National Office consultant Warren Andrada said that EDC Bac-Man, a biologically important ecotourism site, second to Mt. Apo in Mindanao, is considered one of the country's prides.

Andrada also said that local residents must be aware and appreciate its tourism value particularly that most of our reservation areas and natural parks now belong to the 50% declared "biologically not important" because it has already been destroyed and are denuded citing as example the Bicol National Park. (PIA Sorsogon) [top]

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