Task force eyed to boost Danao-Camotes tourism

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva July 07,2015 - 08:41 AM
Tourists enjoy the beach in Santiago Bay, San Francisco, Camotes, which has the longest stretch of white sand in Camotes in this April 2011 CDN file photo.

Tourists enjoy the beach in Santiago Bay, San Francisco, Camotes, which has the longest stretch of white sand in Camotes in this April 2011 CDN file photo.

A proposed ordinance seeks to create a task force that will coordinate efforts to boost tourism in Danao City and Camotes Islands.

Provincial Board Member Ivy Remedios Durano-Meca, proponent, said the task force will be able to address concerns of both local and foreign tourists who visit Danao City and Camotes Islands in northern Cebu.

Among these concerns are the fixer-filled ticketing systems in ports, the lack of proper parking lots, not enough waiting areas, and lack of security.

“The main reason why we are proposing this ordinance is that we have been receiving a lot of complaints regarding our ports, not only in Danao, but also in Camotes Islands,” she said after the board’s regular session yesterday.

The ordinance was referred to the PB committee on tourism, chaired by Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale.

Meca said the task force will coordinate efforts of the local government units (LGUs) in Danao and Camotes in addressing the problems.

“It is very impossible for Danao alone to settle the issues,” she said.

Under the proposed ordinance, the task force’s functions will include the coordination of planning, management, and integration of tourism activities in the LGUs; recommend measures to improve access to the area for domestic and foreign tourists; and to ensure the convenience, comfort, and satisfaction of tourists from Danao City to Camotes Islands and back, among others.

The task force will be composed, among others, of the provincial tourism officer, the city mayor of Danao and the four mayors of the towns in Camotes, local tourism agencies, and representatives from travel agencies, the business sector, and non-government organizations.

In her proposed ordinance, Meca said tourism-related activities in Danao City and Camotes Islands have increased tremendously in recent years.

This increase, she said, has been due to the availability of better transportation to and from the island, influx of tourists and migrants, and development of facilities, particularly resorts.

“Given its potentials, there is a need to maximize tourism in the area as a tool for socio-economic growth for the local government units,” Meca wrote in her proposed ordinance.

At present, there is no existing inter-local government organizational structure that facilitates and ensures coordination and integration of activities among the two LGUs to address tourism activities and concerns.

Among the tourist attractions in Danao City are the Spanish era-built Santo Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church and Convent, the City Plaza Rizal in barangay Poblacion, and Mount Manghilao, the highest mountain peak in the city.

The Danasan Eco Adventure Park in barangay Danasan has also been drawing in tourists in recent years.

In Camotes Islands, beaches like Santiago Bay and Mangodlong Beach, and caves like Buho Rock and the Bukilat Cave are a must-see.

To get to Camotes from Cebu City, tourists have to travel one to two hours, depending on traffic, to Danao City. From the Danao Port, tourists may take a ferry to Camotes for about two hours.

Camotes is a group of islands between Cebu and Leyte.

It is composed of the islands of Pacijan, Poro and Ponson as well as the islet of Tulang.

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TAGS: Camotes Islands, Danao City, Ivy Remedios Durano-Meca, LGU, northern Cebu, Pacijan, Ponson, Poro, Provincial Board Member, Santo Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church, Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale

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