MANILA — A three-year Canadian government program, aimed at boosting local economic activity, is set to help the recovery of tourist destinations damaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
The local tourism support program will be implemented this year in ten target areas including those that were affected by Yolanda such as Palawan, Northern Panay, Iloilo, and Cebu.
The project is part of the third phase of Canada’s Local Governance Support Program for Local Economic Development’s (LGSP-LED) $18-million, eight-year bilateral project in partnership with the Department of Interior and Local Government.
Canadian Ambassador to Manila Neil Reeder said in a statement published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the 10 initiatives are expected to serve as models for local government units to “showcase how a stronger business climate and investments in tourism-related infrastructure are key factors in attracting other investments and creating jobs.”
The program includes technical advice and training on how to make the local business environment more competitive, attractive to investments and conducive to jobs creation.
Citing a total of P6 billion in investments which created 2,200 new jobs over two years, Reeder said that the first batches of LGSP-LED’s local government beneficiaries yielded clear gains.
The Yolanda-devastated areas listed among the 10 recipient provinces include: Palawan, where a tourism development program will be implemented in the Coron-Busuanga-Culion area; Northern Panay, including Aklan and Antique, where the project will support grassroots ecotourism development; the towns of Banate, Barotac Viejo, Ajuy, Concepcion, Estancia and Carles in Iloilo, where the project will support micro- and small-to-medium enterprises; and Cebu, where an ecotourism recovery program will be implemented in the northern towns of Daanbantayan, Bantayan, Santa Fe, Medellin and Bogo City.
Six other recipient areas include: Batangas, the Albay-Sorsogon tourism link, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Siquijor and Davao del Norte.
With reports from Tarra Quismundo