The Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 2 in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2 and the Local Government Unit of Penablanca gathered together last March 16 for the launching of the Inclusive Local Growth (ILoG) project through river tourism.
Undersecretary Alma Rita Jimenez of the Tourism Regulations, Coordination and Resource Generation (TRCRG) of the DOT graced the occasion. In her message, she emphasized the crucial role of the community being the fisherfolks and eco-guides in safeguarding the natural resources as they are the base of the economic development of tourism. She elaborated the need to respect nature and the local community should teach the visitors to sustainably use these resources and to ably find a way towards sustainable tourism development which harmonizes economic benefits with protection of natural diversity and cultural identity of the destination area.
Meanwhile, Regional Director Virgilio M. Maguigad of DOT shared that there were five ILoG river destinations presented during the workshop held in Manila last March 2017 and three of which were handpicked as the result of the presentation and these are the Pinacanauan River in Penablanca, Chico River in Piat and the Siitan River in Quirino Province. The Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape (PPLS) passed the stringent requirements of the said program which is anchored on theCallao Caves asa major tourism destination.
The event highlighted the blessing of the newly painted boats to be used for river tourism. These boats were used to ferry the guests and visitors in their river cruise along the Pinacanauan river.
Officials and representatives from the province represented by Provincial Tourism Officer-in-Charge and Chief of Staff Atty. Rosario Mamba-Villaflor, line agencies and the media took part in the success of the said project launch.
The ILoG project aims to develop a network of River Tourism products within the country as a major tourism product offering. It will promote inclusive local growth as the beneficiaries of the program are the locals residing near the river.
It will be recalled that DOT Region 2 had its soft launch of this project last 8 March 2018 with the distribution of shirts, paints and painting paraphernalia to the bangkeros.