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Lantawan Eco-Park’s Tourist Influx to Abet Fiscal ConditionJanuary 9, 2013

 

Kitcharao, Agusandel Norte– Behind the serene display of forest-protected area of Brgy. Crossing in the Municipality of Kitcharao, province of Agusan del Norte unveils the captivating beauty of Lantawan Eco-Parkthat captures the exhilarating scene of Lake Mainit.

           Yet the existence of this fascinating landscape has been hidden beneath forest covers slowly dissipating into oblivion. While residents contain the extant panoramic view within themselves, the tourists and outsiders wished to catch a glimpse of the rich forest life. The lack to road accessibility and at the same time the absence of tourism facilities at Lantawan Eco-Park makes it a concealed tourist hot spot despite of its natural and attractive scenery.

            This dismal situation ended when the Municipality of Kitcharao passed the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) and became a recipient of the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) worth PhP1 M. The PCF grant was received by the municipality on October 13, 2011. After receipt and compliance to all the requirements for its utilization, the fund was used to establish Tourism-Support Facilities in Lantawan Eco Park. The project includes construction of access road, installation of potable water facilities, electric power supply, setting-up of public toilet and kiosks to improve the area. The Municipality of Kitcharao provided PhP1 M as LGU counterpart for the Tourism-Support Facilities. The implementation started on February 16, 2011 and finally reached its completion on April 30, 2012.

              Just barely two (2) months after the project completion, a record of 2,680 tourists already surge and rush to the place. With the continuing increase of tourists in Lantawan, it is expected to generate income to the LGU and is projected to abet its fiscal condition. While the figures are increasing, the Municipality of Kitcharao is positive that it will provide revenues arising from the profits ofLantawan Eco Park’s income-generating tourism facilities.

              With the conferment of the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH), the Municipality of Kitcharao received the PCF as an incentive and was able to provide an answer to its depressing situation.The SGH is a form of recognition given to local governments that accords primacy to the principles of accountability and transparency. It is conferred to a performing Local Government Unit (LGU) that has no adverse finding by the Commission on Audit (COA) regarding its financial transactions and has posted the same in conspicuous places or in websites to notify the public of such information. This is pursuant to Memorandum Circular No. 2011-95 dated July 1, 2011 of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), which ensures that good governance is implemented by the LGU.

              “This is a manifestation that a performing LGU, lodged in the foundation of good governance with the time-honored principles of transparency, accountability, responsiveness and participation will truly be rewarded by an incentive of the national government”,Regional Director Lilibeth A. Famacion said of DILG 13.

               Presently, Roberto R. Calubag, Jr., the OIC-Municipal Planning and Development Officer (MPDO) of the Municipality of Kitcharao has requested the Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative (ANECO) to install a power transformer at the Lantawan Eco-Park  to stabilize the 220 volts power supply required for the submersible pump and other tourism infrastructure facilities in the area.In view of the operation and management of Lantawan Eco Park, the Municipal Tourism Coordinating Council is on the process of formulating the Comprehensive Tourism Master Plan. The Sangguniang Bayan is likewise, on the process of creating “AN ORDINANCE PRESCRIBING ECOTOURISM DEVELOPMENT FEE AND IMPOSING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION THEREOF IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF KITCHARAO, AGUSAN DEL NORTE.”

                Truly, this accomplishment reveals the anti-poverty flagship programs under Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino III implemented under the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on its purpose of achieving “Tuwid na Daan, tungo sa Bayang Maunlad”. (Florian Faith Jr. P. Bayawa, LGOO II, Region 13)

 

 

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