Mt. Apo’s tourism potentials pushed

"We have to move on and focus on development, especially on tourism,” said Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco amid the extortions, bombings and other lawlessness his city has been through lately.

Gantuangco said they have already laid down systems to secure the city from lawlessness, like the city council approving a P5.9-million budget for the city’s anti-terror campaign — like installing security cameras in places like bus terminals and markets — and now it is time to move forward.

He said projects to develop Mt. Apo started as early as 2006, among them developing Lake Agku, the steaming blue lake, which the mayor considers as one of nature’s wonders.

In coordination with the tribal folks and officials of Barangay Ilomavis, a swimming resort has been set up, which include a health spa or hot tub soothing for those with arthritis, rheumatism and other illnesses. It uses hot steam coming from Lake Agku.

The Philippine National Oil Company-Energy Development Corporation (PNOC-EDC) has also been helping in funding projects for Mt. Apo. The PNOC-EDC runs the geothermal plant at Barangay Ilomavis.

The local government units in nearby Magpet and Makilala towns are likewise helping through the Kidapawan-Magpet-Makilala (KMM) Ecosystem Triangle, which was set up only recently as a move to coordinate efforts in protecting Mt. Apo, a favorite climbing site among mountaineers.

Gantuangco said the city government is also planning to construct a view deck from the resort near Lake Agku so that guests can view the mountain’s highest peak.

He said they are entering the Mt. Apo projects for this year’s Gawad Galing Pook, an award given annually by the Department of the Interior and Local Government. (MindaNews)