News: DOT launches eco-park in Guimaras -
20 Apr 2008
GUIMARAS - The Department of Tourism (DOT) launched here on Saturday a United Nations-funded ecological park which aims to revive tourism two years after a major oil spill hit the island province.
Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano said the Guisi Discovery Quest would provide jobs to communities affected by the oil spill, particularly residents of the hardly-hit town of Nueva Valencia.
"The Department of Tourism consistently promotes the local attractions and activities in this area to show the healing capabilities of ecological tourism to a distressed community and its environment," Durano said in a press conference.
Although he could not say that the province has fully recovered from the disaster, Durano said that the Guimaras "is better now" than in the previous years.
Durano said about 18 percent of the coastal areas of the island was affected by the oil spill. But he said alternative livelihood has been provided by the government to residents who are highly dependent on fishing.
Durano said the entire province would benefit from this venture by providing them opportunities to work as guides, kitchen staff and maintenance crew to varied nature-based programs. - Helen Flores