Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Small Southern Leyte Town Among Tourism Champions Of DOT Challenge


Small Southern Leyte Town Among Tourism Champions Of DOT Challenge


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The local government of Silago in Southern Leyte is proud of its achievement as the only area in Eastern Visayas recognized in the prestigious Tourism Champions Challenge (TCC) 2024.

Mayor Lemuel Honor said he is overjoyed for their third-place finish in the TCC Visayas cluster.

A total of 98 cities and towns nationwide joined the TCC to promote sustainable tourism.

The top two places in the Visayas were awarded to Tubigon, Bohol for Enchanted Ilijan Plug of Tubigon; and Badian, Cebu for Badian Toong Spring Nature Park.

Honor received the award from President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on Monday.

“Despite our meager resources, we were able to get third place. I am even more proud to know that among the TCC municipalities and cities finalists, Silago is the lowest in terms of income classification as we are fourth class while our competitors are cities and first-class towns,” he said in a phone interview.

The town’s entry to the TCC is “Silago, Southern Leyte’s Silago Ridge to Reef Eco-Experience Project: Promoting Sustainability through Eco-Heritage Tourism.”

The town received a PHP10-million grant from the DOT and PHP5 million from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority.

“The DOT family extends its warmest congratulations to Mayor Lemuel Honor and the municipal government of Silago for bringing home a total of P15 million in the form of a tourism infrastructure grant from TIEZA as they won 3rd place (for the Visayas Cluster) in DOT’s Tourism Champions Challenge,” DOT Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes said in a statement.

The amount will be used to build a museum and visitor center.

The planned museum, according to DOT, will house the bones of a sperm whale, estimated to weigh 41,000 kilograms and measures around 65 to 70 feet.

It washed up on the shores of Mercedes village in 2001.

“We hope that this achievement of Silago will inspire local governments in the region to propose sustainable tourism projects and vie in the 2nd Tourism Champions Challenge,” Tiopes added.

The DOT launched the TCC in April 2023 to encourage local governments to submit proposals on innovative tourism infrastructure project that aim to foster sustainability, inclusivity, and resilience in tourism development, enhancing our local destinations and communities and most importantly, providing added economic opportunity for our communities nationwide. (PNA)