Binalbagan boosting tourism
BY SHIELA G. GELERA
More developments are underway to boost the tourism industry of Binalbagan town in Negros Occidental, its mayor, Emmanuel Aranda, said Sunday.
Among these is the ongoing construction of roads, through a contractor of the Department of Public Works and Highways, going to the falls and caves discovered in Binalbagan, which are possible attractions to tourists in the town, Aranda said.
The Department of Tourism had allotted a P100 million budget this year for the Binalbagan government, on their request, Aranda said.
He said the budget covers the concreting and widening of the road leading to the Sunoy Bambi Falls in Barangay Santol, which is about 28 kilometers from the town proper, via Barangay Bi-ao.
“Every year there is a budget and the target for the completion of the project, according to DPWH, is five years from now,” Aranda said.
Aranda said they are starting to plant 2,000 high-value fruit trees such as rambutan, pomelo, durian, mangosteen, and lanzones, as well as vegetables and flowers inthe 17 to 20 hectares of land.
Animals, such as carabaos, cows, horses, and chickens will also be raised there, he said, adding that they already have some of the equipment for farming.
“Our plan here is integrated farming and the budget came from the 20 percent Internal Revenue Allotment which is P5 million,” he said.
SUNOY BAMBI FALLS
The development of the Sunoy Bambi Falls is also being eyed to boost the livelihood of at least 4,800 indigenous peoples (IPs) in barangays Bi-ao, Santol, and Amontay, Aranda said.
The existing IPs in Binalbagan are from the tribes of Ituman, Magat and Bukidnon, he said.
Aranda said the income that will be generated at the Sunoy Bambi Falls, through its entrance fees and other services, will go to the IPs and Bantay-Bukid personnel.
Comfort rooms before the entrance to the falls are also being constructed, Aranda said, adding that they will prohibit bringing of bottles and plastics to the falls to maintain its cleanliness.
He said they will also craft other rules and regulations in line with the care of the environment.
So far, Sunoy Bambi Falls is good for daytime trips as there is no available electricity in the area yet, but people are using solar power instead, Aranda said.
The bridges that the visitors need to pass going to the falls are also to be improved so even the elderly may also enjoy the beauty of the falls, he said.
The falls were re-discovered in 2010, but it had been there since late 1970s, Aranda said.
Other attractions in the mountain, such as the area where residents can display their souvenir products, are also being developed.
MAGNETIC ROAD AND CAVES
A part of the road that is now being constructed that had some “gravity” is also being improved. The water, instead of flowing down, appears to be going up the road, and this is similar to the magnetic road in Murcia and Salvador Benedicto, Aranda said.
The Binalbagan local government is also planning to improve the entrance to the cave located in the area before entering Sitio Bulwang in Binalbagan, so people can enter and see a rock with water flowing on it, he said.
Roads leading to seven more caves near the Mabunga and Nabuak elementary schools will also be constructed next year, Aranda said.
He said Binalbagan is not known yet for its tourist spots but they have a lot of potential, it is only that they are not promoted well.
Those who want to experience trekking to Bambi Falls may go to the Binalbagan Tourism Office or contact Aranda at 0920 901 9417.*SGG
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