TUBA, Benguet – The municipal government wants to have a wider area for the establishment of its own demo farm to promote agri-tourism in the municipality and enhance the town’s tourism industry.
Mayor Ignacio Rivera revealed the local government is currently negotiating with the owner of the private property who earlier donated some 3 hectares of his property in Nangalisan to the municipality for whatever public purpose to expand that donated area by about 1 to 2 hectares to accommodate the features of the agri-tourism demo farm to be put in place in the said area.
“We talk things over with the donor of the area so that he might decide to increase the 3-hectare area by about one to two hectares so that we will be able to complete the amenities of the proposed demo farm to serve as a major tourist attraction in the locality,” Mayor Rivera stressed.
The local chief executive said local officials and employees will start planting assorted agro-forestry species in the different portions of the demo farm pursuant to the designed master development plan, aside from initial works on the access and interior roads so that the overall impact of the project will be realized the soonest.
According to him, if the land owner will not increase the donated land area, the local government will make do with the development of the available space as a model demo farm not only in the region but in the entire Luzon area.
Rivera explained Tuba is lucky that one of its landed constituents donated a huge portion of his property for public use that is why local officials are trying to maximize the potentials of the said property to serve as an income-generating project of the municipality that will contribute in spurring growth and development in the said area.
Aside from the town’s frequently visited hot spring resorts, waterfalls, caves and other scenic tourist destinations, he claimed that the agri-tourism demo farm will surely be one of its potential tourist attractions because it will play host to endemic agro-forestry species aside from the presence of recreational facilities that will complement the complete tourism package for the municipality.
He emphasized that the proposed Nangalisan demo farm will surely be a major tourist attraction once the outer link of the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) circumferential road shall have been completed within the next several years considering that the place will already be accessible to the public.
Tuba is one of the first-class municipalities in Benguet Province that draws bulk of its income from the operation of the Philex Mining Corporation, the largest gold and copper producer in the country, which is projected to end mine life by the end of 2022, thus, local officials are working hard to find alternative sources of income for the local government to sustain the income that will be generated through the local coffers even without the operation of the mining company which has been existent over the past six decades.