The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) turned over a PHP7-million Tourist Rest Area (TRA) here Friday. TIEZA chief operations officer Mark Lapid said the project is the first to be completed in Mindanao. As the tourism infrastructure arm of the government, TIEZA is in charge of funding and construction of such undertakings, while DOT serves as the overall evaluator of the project as its primary concept originator. With the project's turnover, Lapid said the local government is tasked with the TRA's daily operation and maintenance. DOT Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco, who graced the event, noted that there are 15 ongoing TRA projects in the country. "Road Infrastructure projects are also vital for tourism development in the country and (we) thank President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for having roads and bridges as among the vital programs of this administration under his Build Better More program," Frasco said. Last year, Frasco led the opening of 10 TRAs across the country. Meanwhile, Governor Rogelio Neil Roque underscored the significance of the structure to the province's tourism industry, which he said is known for food, religion, and culture. "Bukidnon is the home of the second highest peak in the country which is Mount Dulang-dulang and half of the highest mountain peaks in the country are found in the province," he said. Mayor Rogelio Quiño said the town has witnessed tourism-related investments pouring into the locality, luring at least 6,000 tourists daily. During the launch, the DOT also distributed kits to Bukidnon tour guides at the Manolo Fortich gymnasium, while community-based tourism organizations also benefited from livelihood training assistance from the agency.
Source: Philippines News Agency