Ten major rivers in the region are being eyed as eco-tourism sites in a bid to promote inclusive growth for communities located near the waterways.
Under the Department of Tourism’s Ilog Tourism–Inclusive Local Growth through River Tourism Program, the mighty Agusan River in Butuan City, Kalinawan River (Jabonga, Agusan del Norte), Cabadbaran River (Cabadbaran City), Gaas Inlet (Dinagat Island), Sabang Gibong River (Agusan del Sur), Surigao River (Surigao City), Baoy River (Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte), Tandag River (Tandag City), Abacanan River (Cantilan, Surigao del Sur) and Giasan River (Magallanes, Agusan del Norte) would be utilized for ecotourism projects.
Kylee Doreene Q. Plaza, tourism officer of DOT-Caraga, said the new tourism development program which was hatched at a recent meeting among tourism officers from the five provinces and six cities is expected to draw tourists and create employment and livelihood opportunities for the fisherfolk and lumads, and add revenues to local coffers.
“Rivers are home of our tribes and fisherfolk and this Ilog program will surely add more market-drawing capacity to their products,” Plaza said.
The DOT , Plaza said, in coordination with Caraga’s local government units were emulating the efforts of officials in Loboc, Bohol, province where they utilized Loboc River to draw tourists and as a key to economic growth.
The agency has allocated P600,000 for the first phase of the development of the 10 rivers in Caraga, Plaza added. By YUC