AgSur eyes 7 towns to become cradle of eco-tourism

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Apr. 26 -- Seven towns in this province are seen potential to be developed for eco-tourism. These are the municipalities of Talacogon, San Francisco, Rosario, Bunawan, Loreto, La Paz and Veruela, where the Agusan marsh is also located.

The House of Representatives Committee on Tourism and Committee on Appropriation has forwarded House Bill No. 8956 to the Senate after it was approved during the third reading on March 25, 2021, and received by the Senate on April 12, 2021.

House Bill (HB) No. 8956 replaces HB 3667 which was filed on February 3, 2020, by Agusan del Sur Second District Rep. Adolph Edward Plaza and was approved on the second reading only on March 16 and finally approved on the third reading after nine days.

During a virtual “zoom’ meeting in August last year, former Department of Tourism (DOT) Caraga Regional Director Maria Anna Nuguid laid down her manifestation to House Committee on Tourism Chairperson Sol Aragones saying the passage of the Bills filed by Rep. Plaza will help institutionalize more intervention for the protection and sustainable tourism development of the area and will give due recognition to Agusan del Sur to take its rightful place in history, not only of the Philippines but of the world for it to be placed in the international tourism map. The Bills will also strengthen community-based tourism initiatives for the indigenous people communities in the area and will create more livelihood opportunities.

In the same zoom meeting, former DENR Caraga Regional Director Hadja Didaw Piang-Ibrahim called H.B. 3667 (now HB 8956) a very important Bill because it will support the efforts of the protected area management board in protecting Agusan Marsh having been declared a protected area pursuant to Republic Act 11038 under the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS) Act.  Agusan Marsh is also declared as ASEAN Heritage Park.

Meanwhile, in his explanatory note, Rep. Plaza said that the Agusan Marsh Ecotourism Development and Management Plan shall ensure the preservation of the area and shall dwell on the carrying capacity of the Agusan Marsh Ecotourism Zone and its endemic and migratory birds species, specific site assessment, identification of strategic priorities, product development plans for local income generation, capacity building for the local community, strategies to promote the formulation of local production groups and networks, including the marketing and pricing of products and, marketing strategies that uphold natural, social and environmental integrity of the eco-tourism zone and its local residents. (David M. Suyao, PPIO-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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