MALAYBALAY CITY – The Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) has earmarked P15 million for the establishment of the Bukidnon eco-cultural tourism park in 2013, Laila D. Marte, officer in charge of the Provincial Tourism Office told the Bukidnon Sangguniang Panlalawigan Wednesday.
TIEZA has asked the PTO to submit the proposed design and other requirements for the release of the financial assistance for a project that would make Malaybalay the “Summer Capital of Bukidnon”.
The park will be built in a three-hectare area within the 500-hectare Bukidnon Tree Park, carved out of the 38,848-hectare site covered by the Industrial Forest Management Agreement of the Bukidnon Forests Inc.
TIEZA recommended the development of amenities like a multi-purpose hall, a log cabin-themed dormitory, swimming pool, bird watching tower, rock wall, tribal houses, and public comfort rooms.
But provincial board members suggested further consultations especially with the seven tribes of Bukidnon for the cultural aspect of the project.
Board member Clive Quino cited the need to identify environmental impact among others.
Datu Maida Pandian, the Lumad representative in the board said there is a need to ask the tribes about the project.
“It should be made nearer to the identity of the IP (indigenous peoples) in Bukidnon,” he added.
Marte told MindaNews the TIEZA team led by Jeffrey Mallari, its corporate planning officer, arrived on October 17 to conduct inspection.
She added that the provincial government wrote TIEZA chief Mark Lapid to request funding for the project in June 2012.
She said the facilities will be managed by the provincial government, but it has to provide non-cash counterpart, such as roads to the area.
Aside from the eco-tourism park, Marte said TIEZA also agreed to fund the P2.5-million for a new PTO building.
Marte said their current office at the Kaamulan View Park should be relocated to a more accessible cite at the Capitol grounds.
Earlier, Maite Abellanosa, chair of the tourism sector of the newly-formed Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said she wanted to know if the provincial government is tapping the private sector for a partnership on the project.
She cited in an earlier interview that this is one of the things that the PTO should do to promote tourism in the province. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)