Leyte Samar Daily Express
TACLOBAN CITY—The island-province of Biliran is gearing up for a projected boom in tourism over the next few years after the Senate approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to declare Biliran as a Tourism Development Area (TDA).
“We are optimistic many tourists will visit Biliran especially now that it has been officially declared as area for tourism development,” Biliran provincial tourism officer Sofronio Dacillo, Jr. said.
The Senate approved on Monday Senate Bill No. 3252 authored by Senate tourism committee chair, Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid declaring six tourism development areas in Biliran.
Lower House versions of the bill— House Bill Nos. 3066, 3068, 3069, 3070 and 3071 filed by Biliran lone district Rep. Rogelio Espina have also been approved.
Zones to be included as tourism development areas are Higatangan Island in the capital town of Naval; Sambawan Island in Maripipi town; mangrove area of Barangay Looc and Casabangan Falls in Barangay Balaquid, all of Cabucgayan town; Tinago Falls in Barangay Cabibihan, Caibiran town; and Bagongbong Falls in Barangay Caucab, Almeria town.
“These areas have been long recognized as protected areas being natural parks, marine reserves, protected landscapes, protected seascape, watershed reservation and watershed forest reservation,” Dacillo said.
“The provincial government is currently drumming up its tourism promotions and marketing to entice tourists to visit our destinations. With the declaration of the areas as tourism development areas, the province, in coordination with the DoT (Department of Tourism) and TIEZA (Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority),” Dacillo added.
“We can soon implement a sustainable tourism destination infrastructure program with the help of the private sector and develop diversified tourism products that engage local communities,” Dacillo said.
He said the government will initiate projects for the provision of water and water treatment, power, and solid waste management.
Part of the destination infrastructure for Biliran is the design and construction of tourism information centers, transport terminals and services, and tourism sites access and visitor improvements. (REYAN L. ARINTO)