Zambo City allocates P20M to jumpstart eco-tourism park development

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/3 Aug) – The city government of Zamboanga has allocated an initial P20 million to jumpstart the development of a P50-million eco-tourism park.

The eco-tourism park will be constructed at the Great Sta. Cruz Island, which is known for its beautiful “pinkish” sand beach located 1.9 nautical miles south of this city.

Mayor Celso Lobregat said the construction of the park will be an environment low impact development project with the main goal of making the Great Sta. Cruz Island a premier site for eco-tourism in the region.

The development of the island will be based on the winning entries of the recently-concluded architectural design contest organized by the local government in cooperation with the local chapter of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) and the College of Architecture of the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU), Lobregat said.

Lobregat said that six quadrants, 18 small picnic huts, 10 big cottages (spread type), four closed cottages, three small closed cottages, all aesthetically designed, will be constructed on strategic locations on the island in addition to the administration building, a staff house, a pontoon and walkways.

The amenities to be constructed are comfort rooms, shower stands, dive shop, space for food concessioners, and a spa, Lobregat said.

The existing militia detachment on the west end of the Great Sta. Cruz Island will also be developed, he said.

It was also recommended that private investors will be tapped to venture into water-taxi service from and to the island, otherwise, the city government will be the one to operate the transport service, he said.

Lobregat led on Thursday a team of engineers, architects and other technical experts in an ocular visit to the Great Sta. Cruz Island as the local government prepares to develop the island into a world-class eco-tourism resort.

He cited the need for potable water and electricity as a matter of priority venturing on conventional and non-conventional sources.

Water desalination or treatment facility, solar energy and generator sets were among those considered.

The Great Sta. Cruz Island is an environment protected area pursuant to Proclamation No. 271 dated April 23, 2000.

The area protected covers 1,877 hectares and a buffer zone of 1,546 hectares, which are home to flora and fauna endemic to the island.

The first phase of the island’s development will cover an area of about 3.4 hectares.

Meanwhile, Lobregat has instructed the engineers and architects to work first on the comfort rooms, citing that once these are functional, then people will start coming. (MindaNews)