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PIA Press Release

DOT 6 identifies eco-tourism projects for Iloilo, Guimaras

Iloilo (1 March) -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) has accepted for validation four eco-tourism project proposals in Iloilo and Guimaras under its Grants for Entrepreneurial and Eco-Tourism (GREET) Program for 2009.

Tourism Regional Director Edwin Trompeta said the proposals from Iloilo include that of Expansion and Development of Adventure Tour Services and Packages for Iloilo/Guimaras and the Bulabog Puti-an National Park Tour and Cave Guiding, Catering, Accommodation and Transport Services, in Dingle, Iloilo.

The former, which is proposed by the Panay Adventure Tours and Transport Service, is envisioned to promote local destinations around Iloilo and Guimaras for eco-tourism, through adventure tour packages, like trekking, mountain biking, caving, diving, kayaking, and horseback riding, including interfacing with tribal groups.

The latter, according to DOT, will focus on the promotion of the National Park Tourists Services such as Tour and cave guiding, as the town of Dingle has numerous, unexplored caves.

Further, the project intends to develop transportation services from point of origin to point of destination and back, as well as provide good accommodation and catering services so that visitors need not bring food that can yield garbage at the Park.

Trompeta said that they have also recommended for approval two proposals from Guimaras, namely the Valle Verde Camp Lower Ground in Sibunag, Guimaras, and the Tagsing Cave Eco Park in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras.

The Valle Verde camping site will be established within the 6.9 hectares of the Valle Verde Mountain Resort, with facilities that can make the stay of the visitors worthwhile.

The Tagsing Cave Eco Park is a Community-based Eco-Tourism Rehabilitation Support Project serving as a livelihood generating park for the community. The proposal seeks for its rehabilitation and physical improvement for the preservation of culture and natural resources.

Trompeta said the proposals are now for validation by the central office and once approved, each proponent will receive a minimum of P100,000 cash incentive, to pursue their projects.

"Being a grant, the incentive will go to qualified recipients that will pass our strict evaluation in terms of the potentials for tourism promotion, marketing, entrepreneurial, merchandizing and in the generation of job opportunities for people in the localities concerned," Trompeta said.

Trompeta said that the GREET program is DOT's thrust to advance the government's Comprehensive Livelihood, Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP).

In Western Visayas, 13 GREET applications were accepted for validation as of November 2008, with Antique having six, Capiz, three, Iloilo, two and Guimaras, two. (PIA6/ESS) [top]

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