DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The City Council Committee on Tourism eyes to promote resorts in Marilog and Paquibato districts as primary tourist destinations in the city.
The move was in time with the approval on the second reading the proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance of Davao City that will delineate areas for Eco-Tourism and Agro-Tourism activities in said districts.
Last year, the City Council ordered the closure of a number of tourist destinations in said districts due to the lack of permits to operate.
Committee on Tourism chair Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre told reporters on Tuesday, April 2, that the tourism thrust of the city government will focus on MICE or meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions and highland resorts will be considered as secondary destinations.
“Some areas in Marilog are under the Tourism Development Zone, as additional land use for tourism. As one of the new tourism attractions in Davao, we really have to promote it,” Alejandre said.
“We could not promote (tourist destinations in Marilog) before because (some of their operations were) illegal but if these amendments will be passed into law, we will include this in our campaign slogan and other campaigns in Davao’s tourism,” he added.
Alejandre also sees a possible increase in the influx of tourists in the city especially that the resorts will be mandated to follow standards of the Department of Tourism (DOT).
According to Alejandre, while the council supports the development of tourism activities in the hinterlands, there is also a need to follow the rules of the city.
“The operation without having a business permit within the conservation zones was part of my privilege speech before,” Alejandre said.
Alejandre led the creation of Task Force (TF) Marilog that probed the illegal operation of resorts in the said district.
“Now, we are helping them as a win-win solution between the local government and the private sector to work hand in hand,” he said.
“This could help to continue generating jobs among the residents of Marilog and Paquibato,” he added.
Although the operation of the resorts will be legalized soon, the TF Marilog will continue its operation as part of the monitoring of the implementation of the laws in the said areas.
He also mentioned that resort owners must follow guidelines set by the local law.
“We welcome development but we do not want to exploit our mountains,” Alejandre said. (davaotoday.com)