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DOT-5 Sets Aside P2-M for Tourist Facilities in Catanduanes

A total of two million pesos has been earmarked by the Department of Tourism (DOT) regional office in Bicol for the construction of tourist facilities and acquisition of equipment that will further boost tourism ventures in the province of Catanduanes.

According to Tourism Promotions Officer Carmel Bonifacio-Garcia of the provincial government of Catanduanes, the fund will be used to implement four projects that will energize domestic and even foreign tourist patronage on the island. A Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) has already been issued to this effect, with the breakdown of expenditures already known.

Out of the allotted fund, P500,000 will be channeled to the construction of the Visitors’ Information Center at Puraran, Baras while another P500,000 will be used for the purchase of surfboards. On the other hand, P500,000 has been set aside for the establishment of Gayon Bicol Bath House at Virac Seaport, and P500,000 more for the construction of Gayon Bicol Travel Café at Virac Airport.

To serve as the registration area of all visitors of the world renowned surfing site, the Visitors’ Information Center at Puraran will have a briefing room and audio-visual facilities that will provide information and serve as spearhead of the promotion drive for the tourist spot. The surfboards will be used for bolstering surfing activities in the area and will be rented out to surfers, thereby generating revenues that will help in the maintenance and operation of the tourist center.

Meanwhile, the Gayon Bicol Bath House at Virac seaport is expected to serve as comfort room and provide amenities for tourists and travelers alike.

My idea is to organize the group of vendors, porters and other small entrepreneurs in the area, give them the opportunity of maintaining the bathhouse and appropriately charge a just few pesos for those who will use the facility. In this way, they can generate income for their group,
Garcia added.

Tthe Gayon Bicol Travel Café at Virac Airport will have a tourism information center, souvenir shop and a coffee bar. A free Wi-Fi internet service can also be provided at the café for the convenience of tourists and other visitors.

The DOT regional office will take charge of the construction of tourist facilities and the local government units concerned will assume the maintenance of these amenities. The construction of these tourist facilities is expected to start at the second quarter of this year.

In line with this, the Catanduanes Tourism and Promotions Office headed by Garcia has scheduled a series of meetings with Mayor Bong Teves of Baras and the managers of Philippine Ports Authority and Virac Airport for the identification of possible sites of the tourist facilities.

Garcia expressed her thanks and appreciation to DOT V Regional Director Maria ‘Nini" Ravanilla for the much needed fund support. She is also optimistic that the LGUs and concerned government agencies will give their full support to the project.
The growth of tourism industry is largely a multi-sectoral effort hence this inter-agency collaboration is definitely on the right track,
the province’s tourism promotion officer said.
We already have our natural tourist attractions in the province. We are endowed with ecotourism attractions, plus a culture that is distinctively Catandunganon. These facilities, which we have been working on to be realized, will complement what we already have in Catanduanes. This will definitely invigorate our efforts to stir and strengthen tourism industry in the province,

Garcia emphasized. - March 04, 2009

source: Catanduanes Tribune

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