P340-M tourism road projects completed in R-12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/08 July) — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Region 12 has completed around P340 million worth of tourism road projects in various parts of the region in the last 12 months.

Reynaldo Tamayo, DPWH Region 12 director, said Tuesday they have completed the rehabilitation and concreting of three key access roads leading to emerging ecotourism and adventure sites in Makilala town in North Cotabato and in the municipalities of Glan and Maitum in Sarangani.

He specifically cited the ecotourism park in Barangay New Israel in Makilala, white sand beaches in Barangay Gumasa in Glan and the water tubing adventure site in Barangay New La Union in Maitum.

“These were part of the initial batch of tourism investments that were earlier endorsed tourism stakeholders to further enhance the region’s tourism potentials,” he said.

In Makilala, he said they completed last June 15 the concreting of a 4.6-kilometer road that connects Barangay New Israel to the junction of the Cotabato-Digos highway.

Tamayo said the road section is the shortest and most convenient access to the New Israel Ecotourism Park, which hosts the 2.3-kilometer zipline installed by the provincial government of North Cotabato.

The zipline of Barangay New Israel, which is one of the entry points to Mt. Apo, has been touted as the longest in Asia.

The area is being developed by the Department of Tourism-Region 12 as a model for its community-based ecotourism initiative.

In Glan, Tamayo said they fully completed in February the concreting of a one-kilometer road that links the beaches of Barangay Gumasa to the junction the Sarangani–Davao del Sur coastal road.

Gumasa, which is known for its white sand beaches, is among the top tourism destinations of Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region.

The beach strip hosts the annual Sarangani Bay Festival, which is dubbed “the biggest summer beach party in the southern Philippines.”

In Maitum town, Tamayo said they completed in November last year the paving of the eight-kilometer Sarangani- Davao del Sur coastal road junction and the Pangui-Wali-New La Union road.

He said the road eases travel to Barangay New La Union, which hosts the 1.6-kilometer water tubing adventure along the Pangi River. (MindaNews)