Mt. Bulaylay in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija. (Photo by Marilyn Galang)
CUYAPO, Nueva Ecija -- At least three new tourist attractions in this province's first congressional district are set to receive much-needed boost with an imminent funding from Congress.
"Isa po saisinusulong ng Department of Tourism (DOT) ngayon ay ang faith and eco-tourism (One which is being promoted by the Department of Tourism is the faith and eco-tourism)," said Senator Nancy Binay, chair of the Senate Committee on Tourism, after an ocular inspection on Mt. Bulaylay here Friday.
Binay also visited the Holy Face of Jesus at the Immaculate Concepcion Parish in Nampicuan town, which was included in a proposed legislation passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday as authored by Rep. EstrellitaSuansing.
Also included in Suansing's measure which seeks to support established tourism programs in her district was the popular TaongPutik Festival in Barangay Bibiclat, Aliaga town.
The amount which the legislation proposed to invest was not immediately known. Mt. Bulaylay in Barangay Landig in this northwesternmost Nueva Ecija municipality is now attracting local tourists with its zipline as main draw.
"Kitang-kita ko ngayonna ang tatlong bayan naito ay pwedengmagtulungan para i-develop yungganitongklaseng tourist destination (I clearly see as of now that these three towns can help each other to develop such kind of tourist destination)," the senator said.
Binay said the tourism industry faced with good news due to rising tourist arrivals throughout the country really has still a lot to do as it remains lagging behind its Southeast Asian neighbors.
"Because us, we have seven million tourist arrivals and Thailand, I think has 30 to 50 million tourists already," Binay said.
She stressed that since it is budget season, lawmakers need to monitor the budget of the DOT to help the fourth and fifth class municipality develop their tourism sites.
The country's peace and order, she said, appears to be encouraging enough despite restlessness in isolated areas.
"I think the mere fact there is a growing trend in tourist arrivals, peace and order is no longer such a big problem but of course, there are some places in the country that until now are under alert status like Mindanao,” Binay said.
"I think here in Luzon and also in the Visayas, we can maximize the tourism industry," she said.