Governor-elect Arthur Yap identified the need for Bohol’s number one economic driver to be the way to alleviate the lives of the majority of the 1.3 million Boholanos.
He said the tourism potential of Bohol can easily transform opportunities for the people to get their means of livelihood even as he placed agriculture to be the other factor to lessen the poverty level here.
Meeting with tourism stakeholders at Amarela Resort yesterday, Yap said tourism which is a prime income earner is nearer to revenue generation compared to agriculture at this point in time. This is due to the abundance of tourist destinations in the province as compared to other provinces.
The incoming governor is looking at strengthening the Provincial Tourism Council (PTC) by tapping a professional executive director who can put in the right direction in further developing tourism in the province.
He cited the need to tap other destinations in order to “spread the benefits of tourism,” not just to the stakeholders but to Boholanos in general.
“The untapped sand bars and white beaches in the other side of Bohol should be developed in order for those residing in these areas to fell the economic benefits in tourism which is a huge dollar earningindustry,” he stressed.
Gov-elect Yap started yesterday his sectoral consultations to be able to draft realistic approaches to address the prevailing concerns and hit the ground running when he assumes office at the Capitol.
Yap coupled his interaction with the agriculture sector with the inspiring role of farmers in development.
“The greatest heroism is being able to feed our brothers and sisters. Let us be heroes of our communities in our own ways and time,” Yap told the stakeholders in the agriculture sector.
Yap held two consultations yesterday, starting with the Bohol tourism stakeholders, then with the agriculture stakeholders.
He listened to the concerns from the tourism sector and came up with an action plan.
Yap pointed out that the agriculture sector should be given attention to provide for the needs of the tourism industry in the province.
The sustainability of tourism services relies on the stability of the agriculture sector and the protection of the environment, Yap added.
He also emphasized that Bohol needs to maintain the momentum in tourism to sustain livelihood.
Yap thanked Gov. Edgar Chatto and all the employees of the provincial government for all their effort that resulted to the feat that Bohol achieved.
His incoming administration will be geared towards more infrastructure projects to support the farmers in Bohol who will also be catering to the food requirement of the province and tourism.
The Bohol Northeastern Corridor also needs attention, because the towns topping the list of poor areas are concentrated in the northeastern corridor.
Yap noted that these areas are within the Carood Watershed Protected Area such as Pitogo, Alicia, Ubay, Trinidad, Dagohoy, Danao, Inabanga, and Getafe.
Most of those in poverty line are in the agricultural sector.
On this, Yap wants to boost agricultural development where the tourism industry is the ready market for the local produce.
In return, Yap wants to ensure that the benefits of tourism development will trickle down to the agricultural communities.
Protection and preservation of the rich natural resources of Bohol will be integrated in every sector’s framework.
Irrigation facilities and farm-to-market roads will remain as the constant factors in agricultural development.
A program for the mechanization of farm activities will also be worked out to minimize the cost of farm production.
Yap will also open bagsakan centers for farm produce and fish catch.
Yap will also connect the farmers with entities that could assist them in production and market avenues so that they can be assured of stable and continuous income.
Yap emphasized that assistance to farmers and fishermen should be prioritized, because the population in poverty level belong to these sectors.
Rice farmers also needs the assistance the most, considering the Rice Tariffication Law that is now in effect.
Around 300,000 individuals are still in the farming and fishing sectors and it is ironic that while they are the ones who feed the people, they are those gripped by poverty.
The government should uplift their living condition, according to Yap.
Yap also proposes to update the farmers with the weather-monitoring technology so that they could be schedule farm activities away from the threats of typhoon patterns and other weather systems.
There would be trainings for farmers to effectively evade the weather systems that destroy crops, resulting to losses.
Yap will also connect the farmers to sources of capital, so that they can maximize their landholdings.
There should be integrated and harmonized programs for tourism and agriculture to maximize the benefits of economic development, Yap added.