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Roque to recommend tourism budget increase in Tangub, MisOcc



After visiting a world-class viewdeck above Mt. Malindang in Tangub, Misamis Occidental, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday assured he will recommend an increase in the city's tourism projects, particularly the highly anticipated Gardens of the World.

"The Belvedare (Tangub viewdeck) and the Gardens of the World deserve national assistance so I will recommend to Secretary Wanda Teo that funds be appropriated by TIEZA (Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority) for these," he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) at Tangub, Misamis Occidental.

According to the Palafox Associates' website, the project will feature cascading waters, spa and wellness facilities, and reflection pools.

Meanwhile, for the more active visitors, activities such as biking, zipline, cable car, and even a mountain slide will be offered.

On the site will rise a statue dedicated to Colonel Wendell Fertig, a civil engineer who led the guerilla force in Mindanao during the World War II.

Among others, a statue of St. Michael the Archangel, Tangub’s patron saint, and an amphitheater for Tangub’s multi-awarded Dalit Festival dancers, will also be erected.

"I think it's one of a kind in the whole Philippines," Roque said.

Department of Tourism Region X Director Marie Elaine Unchuan said more than PHP300 million is estimated needed for the concluded site.

Aside from the garden infrastructure, she said the overall plan for the Gardens of the World is to include a hotel as well as laboratory for hospitality and restaurant management college students.

“The plan really is to make it a world-class conference venue for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Event)," the regional director bared.

She expressed optimism that this will draw attention since Tangub has already been established as a model of tourism development.

"I know that it will draw crowd, all provinces from Northern Mindanao, once the Panguil Bridge is completed, will have easy access to Tangub," she said. "Tangub's tourism master plan is to be a big ecotourism site given they have an ASEAN Heritage Site that is Mt. Malindang."

"Secretary (Roque) said he'll ask help, it may be from the Office of the President, or he will ask TIEZA through Secretary Wanda," she shared.

Even with only 60,000 population, Unchuan said Tangub is the most advanced city in terms of tourism development in Northern Mindanao.

For the Gardens of the World development, Roque said he would raise the subject with Teo at a Cabinet meeting on March 5.

“We can easily ask for the PHP150 million next year but I will see how much we can ask this year," he said.

The presidential spokesman is in Misamis Occidental on Tuesday to participate in the 25th anniversary of Tangub's Festival of Lights and its 50th Charter Day.

Joyce Ann L. Rocamora / PNA