NORTH COTABATO BOLSTERS COMPETITIVENESS THROUGH TOURISM
KIDAPAWAN CITY– The province is now bolstering competiveness with the Local Government Units (LGUs) started to develop their respective tourism destinations according to Governor Emmylou “Lala” Talino-Mendoza
Tourism projects such as Pisan Caves in Kabacan, Lilongan Cave and Eco-tourism Park in Carmen; 1,100 meter zipline project in Lilongan, Carmen; Kirungdong Eco-tourism Park in Kinarum, Magpet; View Deck and Zipline at UK Peak in Aleosan, Matigol Falls in Arakan, and Camp Matambabay in Libungan are soon to be developed.
Since 2012 up to 2018, the province has appropriated P92.5 million to various tourism projects in the province including the now popular Centennial Pavilion also known as The Basket.
Tagged the longest zipline in Southeast Asia is the zipline located at New Israel, Makilala, which was funded through the Department of Energy (DOE) with the provincial government that provided P132 million for the construction of the 4.8 kilometers concrete road from the national highway to the zipline.
Mendoza said from 2013 to 2017 the zipline project has collected a total of P17million with a sharing of 60% for the province, 10% for the local government unit (LGU) and 30% for Barangay New Israel.
“So far economic activities have been active in New Israel. Residents were able to install to photo booths for tourists, three carenderia stalls and 31 sari-sari stores. Because of the zipline, employment was also made available to 60 local tour guides, six security guards and 15 zipline staff,” Mendoza said during her recent State of the Province Address (SOPA).
Another tourism project developed is the Asik-Asik Falls that has been a source of pride not only for Alamada but the whole province as well. Mendoza said since 2012 they have been allocating funds for the improvement of the said tourist attraction for a total of P5.5 million.
“Presently there are five carenderia stalls in the area. Nine units of “homestay” are also available for tourists. There are 13 staff members manning the resort,” Mendoza said.
The provincial museum known as MuseyoKutawato houses memorabilia depicting the province’s rich history as a province of tri-people as well as signifies unity in diversity. It has 365 objects and artifacts and since its opening on April 10, 2018 it recorded 9,717 visitors consisting of students, school children, business entrepreneurs, professionals, clans and families, and local and foreign tourists.
“It is always important to look back at our heritage to remember where we came from, and from there look ahead to a more fruitful and brighter future. Our past should be our guide in the present, this is true in our own individual lives as well as in our collective life as a province,” Mendoza said.
Last year, the province was awarded by the Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 12 as the Most Improved LGU for having increased tourist arrivals.
Mendoza attributed the competitiveness of the province because of their aggressive infrastructure program. For the last eight years, the province has concreted 197 kilometers of road amounting to P2.316 billion wherein P42.3 million was used for the asphalting of the 3 km road, P191.8 million for the rehabilitation and opening of 100 kms road.
“For without infrastructure support, we would not have created job opportunities and enhanced economic growth in the province. It is also the most visible aspect of Serbisyong Totoo because if you look around these projects are everywhere in the province,” she said.