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Zamboanga braces for eco-tourism development

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With strong determination to catapult the city as one of the finest eco-tourist destinations in the country, the city has set ‘bulk” of attention to eco-tourism development and  created a Committee on Eco-tourism by virtue of Executive Order (EO) No. CL- 382-2010 to put direction on its development.

The committee is composed of multi-sectoral groups and is focused on coming up with eco-tourism development plans of the city.

The creation of the committee was a result of a previous meeting conducted December 15, 2010, where City Mayor Celso Lobregat convened a multi-sectoral conference at the City Hall to discuss eco-tourism promotion in the city.

In the said meeting, Six (6) possible eco-tourism sites in the city were preliminary identified and considered for further assessment and evaluation for possible eco-tourism development, and these are Merloquette Waterfalls in Barangay Sibulao; Dulian Waterfalls in Barangay Dulian-Bunguiao; Busay Waterfalls in Barangay San Roque; Nancy Falls in Barangay La Paz, Salaan Cave in Barangay Salaan and Manicahan Cave in Barangay Manicahan.

The above sites are the priority eco-tourism areas that will de developed by the city government of Zamboanga.

This is where the Committee on Eco tourism comes in, the said committee shall take the lead in the conduct of orientation seminars, assessment evaluation and project monitoring, all geared towards eco-tourism development and promotion.

The Committee will assess and evaluate eco-tourism potentials of the above mentioned possible tourism sites located in the said six barangays.

The Committee will also formulate and recommend for approval to the city mayor the site-specific eco-tourism development programs and policies of the priority sites.

One “heavy” responsibility of the committee is the identification of other possible eco-tourism sites in the city which may be subject to future development. The conduct of ecological studies and/or environmental assessment on the impact of eco-tourism also form part of the committee’s duties and responsibilities.

The Committee will also monitor the development and implementation of eco-tourism projects   and will drum beat the conduct of community/sector-based information dissemination, seminars trainings among others.

Mayor Lobregat in his EO no. 382 emphasized the duty of the committee “to prepare and submit periodic report on the status of the assessment, evaluation and program implementation for information, monitoring and policy development purposes.”

The Committee on Eco-tourism is composed of Sangguniang Panlungsod representatives; Executive Departments of the City Government; National Government Agencies (PIA, DOT, DENR); Tri-media; Zamboanga Adventure Tourism and Eco-Recreation Society (ZATERS); and the Punong Barangays.

Lobregat sits as the Chairman of the said committee with City Tourism Officer Sarita Hernandez as Executive Officer.

By JP Alvarez –PIA




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