Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Victorias City Secures PHP13 Million Cash Grant To Develop Birdwatching Site


Victorias City Secures PHP13 Million Cash Grant To Develop Birdwatching Site


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The City of Victorias has obtained a total of PHP13 million cash grant to develop a birdwatching site in the famous Gawahon Ecopark.

The northern Negros city, the lone winner from Negros Occidental, received PHP8 million in the nationwide Tourism Champions Challenge (TCC) of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and an additional PHP5 million committed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to the winning local government units (LGUs), during the awarding rites held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on Monday.

Mayor Javier Miguel Benitez, in a statement on Tuesday, thanked the President, DOT Secretary Christina Frasco and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) chief operating officer Mark Lapid for making the TCC a success.

“Let’s keep promoting the biodiversity, conservation and sustainability of our Gawahon Ecopark, and strive to make it a premier tourism destination,” Benitez said.

Victorias City’s entry “A Birder’s Paradise: Haven for Sustainable and Inclusive Eco-Tourism” placed fourth among the top five LGUs in the Visayas and was among the 15 proposals selected across the country.

The winning project proposal aims “to develop a birdwatching site in Gawahon Ecopark which will create a suitable environment for various bird species and provide enhanced amenities and infrastructures to cater to birdwatching activities.”

The top three in the Visayas are Tubigon, Bohol for Enchanted Ilijan Plug of Tubigon; Badian, Cebu for Badian Toong Spring Nature Park; and Silago, Southern Leyte for Silago Ridge to Reef Eco-Experience Project: Promoting Sustainability through Eco-Heritage Tourism.

Panay, Capiz placed fifth for Panay: A Coastal Resource Experience.

The Gawahon Ecopark, through environmental conservation and community development, is set to become a model for sustainable tourism, a sanctuary for endangered species, and a source of prosperity for the community, according to the DOT.

The TCC, a transformative tool dedicated to promoting nationwide tourism development, empowers local chief executives/mayors to draw from the wellspring of their local communities and contribute to the overall Philippine experience of every traveler.

The best project proposals were selected according to resiliency, inclusivity, and sustainable development (20 percent); relevance to the “Challenge” theme (10 percent); project objective and impact to tourism (20 percent); economic and financial viability (20 percent); sustainability mechanism (15 percent); and, presentation quality (15 percent).

With support from the TIEZA, the challenge aspires to create exceptional tourism projects that enhance local competencies, propelling the nation to new heights on the global tourism stage, the DOT said in a statement. (PNA)