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Canada to fund tourism development projects in Yolanda-hit areas

Areas in Eastern Visayas inundated by Typhoon Yolanda last year may soon regain beauty and improve the region's tourism.

In a press statement, Canada Ambassador to the Philippines Neil Reeder announced that 10 new projects focusing on tourism development will soon receive funding from the government of Canada through its Local Governance Support Program for Local Economic Development (LGSP-LED).

Of the 10 approved project proposals, four will be done in areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda, namely Palawan, Iloilo, Cebu and Northern Panay (Aklan and Antique).

Other approved tourism projects will be done in Batangas, Albay-Sorsogon, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Siquijor and Davao del Norte.

“This batch of local initiatives selected by LGSP-LED and the Department of the Interior and Local Government will focus on tourism development, working closely with the Department of Tourism in implementing its National Tourism Development Plan,” Reeder said.

“The ten initiatives are expected to serve as innovative models for other local government units to showcase how a stronger business climate and investments in tourism-related infrastructure are key factors in attracting other investments, and creating jobs,” he added.

Yolanda-hit areas

For Palawan, the project will focus on economic recovery through sustainable tourism development of the Coron-Busuanga-Culion area.

For Iloilo, the project will focus on micro and small to medium tourism-related enterprises in the municipalities of Banate, Barotac Viejo, Ajuy, Concepcion, Estancia, and Carles.

For Cebu, the project will focus on green eco-tourism circuit development with business recovery program in the municipalities of Daanbantayan, Bantayan, Santa Fe, Medellin, and Bogo City.

And for Northern Panay (Aklan and Antique), the project will focus on community-based ecotourism circuit development in Libertad, Pandan, Sebaste, and Culasi in Antique, linked to Boracay and Northern Aklan tourism corridor.

The following are the rest of the approved projects:

  • Batangas – development of micro, small, and medium enterprises in Taal, Talisay, Laurel, Lemery, and San Nicolas towns and investment promotion based on the cultural and natural heritage of the Taal lakeside communities
  • Albay-Sorsogon – Ecotourism circuit development for Donsol and Pilar in Sorsogon to be linked to Legazpi-Camalig-Daraga in Albay
  • Negros Occidental – Culinary heritage tourism based on organic agriculture in the cities of Bacolod, Talisay, and Silay
  • Negros Oriental–Tourism circuit development and investment promotion from Dumaguete, Dauin to Bais, Manjuyod, and Tanjay
  • Siquijor –Tourism circuit development of the island linked to the Dumaguete circuit
  • Davao del Norte– Open Beach enforcement and advocacy to enhance competitiveness and investment promotion

All these tourism projects will be implemented from 2014-2016, as the third batch of the $18-million LGSP-LED bilateral project between Canada government and the Philippine Department of Interior and Local Government.

Launched in the country in 2008, the LGSP-LED is an eight-year project that provides financial and technical assistance as well as trainings to LGUs on how to improve their business environment to be more competitive, attractive to investments, and conducive to job creation. —Elizabeth Marcelo/KBK, GMA News