P5.815-B coastal road to link Surigao to Davao Oriental
by Prix D Banzon
Davao City (17 October) -- The completion of the P5.815 billion coastal road which will connect Surigao to Davao Oriental is an expected infrastructure project that will open up the East Coast of Davao Oriental to wider economic activities.
Department of Tourism (DOT XI) regional director Sonia Garcia during the Kapehan sa Dabaw held at SM City on Monday said the SUDOPARIM (Surigao Davao Oriental Pacific Rim) economic zone is among the major projects of President Arroyo being prioritized in the super region program.
She said sites in the East Coast are the best kept secret of the region where it is endowed with beautiful beaches and rich natural resources.
The East Coast is composed of six municipalities namely Tarragona, Manay, Boston, Carage, Cateel and Baganga.
These municipalities are not only a must visit area because of its natural beauty but these are also rich with historical and cultural events including the oldest church built during the Spanish time.
In her recent inspection of the six municipalities along the coast, she said the community is ready to host travelers except for the access road that would allow travelers easy access to the area.
"The area is hosts to beautiful beaches including a thousand hectares of mangrove with an inset white sand beach and a pine forests and aqua blue sea waters," she said.
She said a lot has to be seen by local tourists including foreign and tourists who would be amazed of what these places have.
Garcia said there are areas good for kayaking and diving where a handful of foreigners had already explored by some nationals who are married to Filipinas residing in the East Coast.
But she said that they are looking at improving the area with low structures to be introduced because outside of lack of funding, it would give a better attraction to tourists by preserving its natural form.
She said there are areas that they need to improve like coming up with their own specialty cuisine that can only be found in the area.
"Although a visitor could feast on crabs and lechon each meal, the community has to come up with something original and unique in their area," she said.
She said they will embark on series of work shops with members of the community for them to know more about tourism and how to do about it.
"Our recent act was to convene the tourism council and members are tricycle operators, sari-sari store owners, owners of bakery and other representatives of the different sectors," she said.
Meanwhile she said cultural villages will also be put up with two in Davao Orientalone in Tarragona for the Kalagan tribe and in Caraga for the Mandaya tribe.
She said each village will have a DOT funding of P500,000 but with counterpart from the local government units and other national agencies like the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Agrarian Reform.
Although not all provinces have realized the setting up of cultural villages Garcia said what they have maintained is the Schools for Living Tradition. (PIA XI) [top]