SouthCot allots P5M for Lake Holon tourism development

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 5 Feb) – The provincial government of South Cotabato has allocated an initial P5 million for the construction of various tourism facilities at the famed Lake Holon (formerly Maughan) in T’boli town.

Cesar Sulit Jr., South Cotabato tourism officer, said Wednesday such funding is part of the investments approved by the local government for this year to facilitate the development of the crater-lake as a premiere tourism destination.

He said the funds will mainly be utilized to fund the construction of a lakeside view deck, the improvement of its camping area and the introduction of several tourism activities in the area.

“We have adopted Lake Holon as one of our top priorities this year in terms of tourism development,” he said in a media forum.

Sulit said the construction of the lakeside view deck was earlier pushed by Gov. Fuentes to provide additional attraction for visitors to the area.

He said the view deck will be built in one of the sides of the lake, which is nestled atop Mt. Melebingoy (formerly Parker), that offers an “extraordinary view” of the area’s wildlife.

“Using a telescope, visitors may catch a glimpse of the area’s abundant wildlife like monitor lizards, snakes and wild monkeys,” he said.

Sulit said part of the funds will be utilized for the implementation of conservation and protection measures for the area’s forest cover.

He said Mt. Melebingoy, which is part of the 92,450-hectare Allah Valley Watershed Forest Reserve, has around 5,000 hectares of still intact forest cover.

The official said they will also introduce adventure activities that will not much affect the natural state of the area, especially the lake.

In coordination with the Allah Valley Landscape Development Alliance (AVLADA) and the municipal government of T’boli, he said they are working on introducing kayaking and other non-motorized activities at the lake.

AVLADA is a local government-led body that leads the management of the Allah Valley watershed and its environs.

For prospective visitors, Sulit said they are set to include the area for its “glamping” or glamour camping activities.

He said “glamping” is an outdoor adventure package that is mainly offered to more affluent or “high-end” visitors and tourists.

“In glamping, we will manage and provide all the basic needs of the visitors like food, accommodation, transportation and activities for a reasonable fee. Visitors will only need to bring their personal items and we will take care of the rest,” he added.