DAVAO ORIENTAL – The Provincial Government has marked the beginning of the construction of the soon to rise inland resort here which is seen to complement the rise of tourist arrivals and the scores of other developments taking place in the province over the past few years.
Governor Nelson Dayanghirang led on Monday, January 13, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Capitol-run inland resort at the sprawling eight-hectare property owned by the Provincial Government at the Provincial Tourism Complex in the City of Mati. Two hectares of which was recently acquired by the province from the Menzi Farmer’s Cooperative.
The improvement of the Tourism Complex into an inland resort was among the approved big-ticket projects by the Provincial Development Council (PDC) with a total project cost of P200 million.
Out of the earmarked budget, P165 million has initially been appropriated intended for the first phase of the project which will cover the construction of three dormitories, six units of family villas, storage and laundry, coffee and souvenir shop, a swimming pool, and a function area dubbed as “Kanato Hall”.
Aside from these facilities, the resort will also feature a massive convention center with the capacity to accommodate around 1,000 guests. Governor Dayanghirang said that with the envisioned facility, the province will now be able to host huge events that will attract more tourists in the city and the province.
Over the past few years, the tourist arrivals in the province have steadily increased. From 800,000 tourist arrivals in 2018, it grew to more than a million in the 2019. The figure is expected to go higher this year amidst the many development in the province, including the much-anticipated approval of the province’s bid for the inclusion of the Pujada Bay in the City of Mati as one of the most beautiful bays in the world as well as the highly anticipated operation of the Mati City Airport.
More than being another tourism come-on which complement the city and the province’s beautiful tourism destinations, the inland resort hopes to address the shortage of accommodation facilities amidst the growing tourism especially during the peak season.
“We cannot afford to simply wait for investors to locate and invest here. Since it is our interest to accommodate our visitors, I thought why not the provincial government invest instead,” said Gov. Dayanghirang, adding that the facility will be another source of revenue for the province. “We serve the needs of our tourists and at the same time we earn,” he added.
“Of course, we know that the influx of tourists also means generating more income for the province and would also help in creating more jobs,” said the Governor.
Aside from generating revenue, Gov. Dayanghirang is optimistic that the benefit of the province’s bourgeoning tourism is expected to spill over to local businesses and local workers who are making a living out of tourism such as the hotels, restaurants, fisherfolks and farmers, as well as the transport sector, among others.
“Everybody is a winner on this project. This is the type of development that we want to espouse in our province wherein everyone shares on the benefits,” he said. “We only have one goal– that is to improve our province and make our people happy.”
Present during the ceremony are Second District Representative Joel Mayo Almario, Vice Governor Niño Uy, District Engineer of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Engr. Jane Cainghog; Department of the Interior and Local Government Provincial Director Orle Cababao, Sangguniang Panlalawigan members, Provincial Government department heads, and representatives of partner agencies in the national government. By Karen Lou Deloso/Photos by Eden Jhan Licayan