NegOcc LGUs seek major economic boost from tourism

Various local government units (LGUs) in Negros Occidental are working to develop more tourism-related initiatives in a bid to boost the local economy.

In Bago City, Mayor Nicholas Yulo said on Wednesday the agri-tourism sector has been providing the most number of livelihoods for the people of the southern Negros city.

We are strengthening our agriculture and tourism sectors because we believe these will propel the city to improve the lives of its people, the mayor said.

Bago, as the province's top rice producer, yielding 20 percent of the total rice production of Negros Occidental, is scaling up its niche for organic farming. As most tourists are now health-conscious, organic agriculture is a boon to the city's tourism industry, mayor said.

Yulo also said the city government will push for better infrastructure to complement the growth of the agri-tourism industry.

In La Castellana town, Mayor Rhumyla Nicor-Manguilimutan said the municipal government will further work on developing its economy by strengthening the tourism industry.

She noted that being a small town in central Negros, with vast sugarcane plantations, La Castellana receives minimal Internal Revenue Allotment share and does not generate much real property taxes. To improve our economy, we have to establish a strong tourism industry as it is one of our assets, she added.

The mayor in the past said some residents were uninterested to develop their properties, but they have eventually recognized that economic growth would become faster because of tourism.

Nicor-Manguilimutan added that they have discovered more potential sites that can be developed like falls and other natural attractions.

She said the municipal government has submitted a proposal to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) for the development of a cable car connection in Mt. Kanlaon.

La Castellana is also home to the Bailes de Luces Festival, which took the spotlight during a tourism promotion in Germany in 2018.

Also, Bailes de Luces won first place in the foreign category of the Wonju Dynamic Dancing Carnival in Wonju City, South Korea last year.

In April this year, the La Castellana dancers will perform in the Intercontinental Dance Contest in Rome, Italy.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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