BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The construction of a new building for the Manokan Country, which is among the prime tourist attractions in Bacolod City, is now being eyed by the administration of Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez.
Benitez, however said that there will be a consultation with Manokan Country stall owners regarding the plans of the city government.
Mark Lapid, Chief Operating Officer of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, (TIEZA), yesterday confirmed that Mayor Albee Benitez discussed with him the proposed development of the Manokan Country.
“It’s all still up for discussion. We will wait for the final program of the Mayor and the City Council, then, we will sit again,” Lapid, who had a brief lunch discussion with Benitez and Bacolod City Councilor Celia Flor, chair of the committee on Markets, said.
Whatever our plans, we will meet with the stakeholders to ask their opinion, including the proposed parking lot in the second floor, Benitez said, apparently referring to the establishment of a new Manokan Country building.
We will show to them the plans, for final approval of the plans, he added.
TIEZA is a government owned and controlled corporation, attached to the Department of Tourism. It is responsible for implementing policies and programs of DOT pertaining to the development, promotion, and supervision of tourism projects in the country.
Lapid, an actor and former governor of Pampanga, said he is encouraging investments in tourism as part of the country’s recovery effort from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A frequent visitor of the MassKara festival, Lapid also said that Negros Occidental is up for inclusion in the second batch of provinces in the country, where Tourist Service Centers and Rest Areas will be put up, starting next year.
Tourism Sec. Christina Frasco earlier said the tourist rest areas feature “clean restrooms and a place to rest” for visitors as well as an information center and a pasalubong center.*