BAUKO, Mountain Province – The municipal government has signified its intention to manage the historic Mount Data Hotel to allow the resumed operation of one of the supposed income-generating facilities of the government within the jurisdiction of this fourth-class municipality.
Mayor Abraham B. Akilit said the regional office of the tourism department has endorsed the local government’s bid to management and operate the hotel to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) which has jurisdiction over tourism properties in the different parts of the archipelago.
“We want to infuse a new style of management to the hotel because aside from its bright prospect of being an economic driver in the locality, there is also a need to sustain its historical value having been the venue of the signing of the 1987 Mount Data peace agreement,” Akilit stressed.
The local chief executive claimed the municipality will create a trust fund where the income generated from the hotel, once approved by TIEZA, to be used for the maintenance of the facility.
According to him, the plan of the municipal government to put up a museum in memory of the historical significance of the Mount Data hotel within the facility was already considered by TIEZA in its rehabilitation of the structure to serve as an added attraction for local residents and visitors alike and as one of the preferred tourist destinations apart from Sagada and Banaue in nearby Ifugao.
Earlier, TIEZ took back the operation of the Mount Data hotel from the provincial government due to alleged issues with management and the agency was supposed to rehabilitate the structure in preparation to resumed operations.
Akilit expressed confidence that TIEZA will issue the green light for the municipal government to takeover the management and operation of the Mount Data hotel after the implementation of the necessary repairs and rehabilitation works so that to the province will have a worthy place to visit and lodge in while on their trip to their desired points in the central Cordillera.
On September 13, 1986, former President Corazon C. Aquino and the late Fr. Conrado Balweg of the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) signed the historic Mount Data peace agreement that ended the hostilities between the government forces and the rebels led by Balweg that resulted in the subsequent issuance of Executive Order No. 220 creating the Cordillera Administrative Region combining the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Mountain Province and Baguio City from Region I and Ifugao, Kalinga and Apayao from Region II.
Akilit revealed among those that will be included in the museum will be the memorabilia that President Aquino gave to the CPLA and those given by the CPLA to the government as well as pertinent documents narrating the region’s quest and struggle for self-governance and eventual autonomous status that will also serve as part of enriching the knowledge of today’s youth on the renewed quest for regional autonomy.