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Baclaran Church, 7 other sites eyes as tourist spots

October 28, 2022 Jester P. Manalastas 515 views

AT least eight separate bills seeking to declare the immediate environs of Baclaran Church and seven other spots as new tourist destinations, were up for plenary discussion when session resumes on November 7.

The committee on tourism chaired by Romblon Rep. Eleandro Jesus Madrona will endorse and sponsor these bills on the plenary.

Places to be declared as tourist spots are the Baclaran Church, also known as the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, along Roxas Boulevard in Parañaque City (House Bill No. 5168); Mount Arayat, along the borders of the Municipalities of Arayat and Magalang in Pampanga (HB No. 5169); Luzon Datum in Barangay Hinanggayon, Municipality of Mogpog in Marinduque (HB No. 5170; Cebu Safari and Adventure Park in Barangay Corte, Municipality of Carmen in Cebu, (HB No. 5171); Guinsaugon Eco-Adventure Park in Barangay Guinsaugon, Municipality of St. Bernard in Southern Leyte (HB No. 5173); Tugonan Waterfalls in Barangay San Lorenzo, Municipality of Prosperidad in Agusan del Sur (HB No. 5167); Dao Heritage Tree in Barangay Cugman, Cagayan de Oro City, (HB No. 5172) ; and Passig Islet in Barangay Bato, Municipality of Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur (HB No. 5174).

Once finally declared by law as tourist destinations, the sites may benefit from the national government’s Tourism Road Infrastructure Program (TRIP).

In the proposed 2023 General Appropriations Act, TRIP has an allocation of P16.8 billion for the construction or improvement of access roads leading to declared tourist attractions.

The P16.8 billion is on top of the P17.9 billion earmarked for TRIP in the 2022 national budget.

Under TRIP, the specific roads to be funded would be identified jointly by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Under the bills, the DOT and the local governments concerned would also be required to include the sites in their respective tourism development plans, in consultation with other relevant agencies such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, or the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.