KAPANGAN, Benguet – Mayor Manny Fermin underscored that his administration will continue to work on the development of agri-tourism as one of the town’s major economic drivers to pave the way to recovery from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that heavily impacted on the local economy.
Fermin, who was given by the voters the privilege to serve is third term as the municipal chief executive, stated that the municipal government will be working on linking agri-tourism sites and activities in the different barangays to be able to take advantage of the local agriculture industry to entice tourists to visit the various potential agri-tourism sites in the locality.
He claimed that the promotion of agri-tourism will start with barangay Pongayan, which is known as the major producer of bell pepper, for the institutionalization of the Sili festival that will be an added attraction for the municipality aside from other related agri-tourism activities in the other barangays.
The re-elected mayor stipulated that agriculture is already in place in the municipality and what must be incorporated is the tourism aspect of the trade so that residents will be able to sustain their established economic activities and sources of livelihood that will allow their families to hurdle the heavy impact inflicted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to their lives.
On the other hand, Mayor Fermin disclosed that the municipal government will also work on the completion of its P60 million 5-story modern market for the aggressive promotion and marketing of local products and as a multipurpose center for hosting gatherings as Kapangan is a fast-developing municipality strategically located in the middle of a number of municipalities in Benguet and La Union.
He admitted that many residents of Naguilian, La Union are now using the access road in Kapangan to go to the upland town of La Union as this is more accessible through the municipality that is why the completion of the town’s modern market will definitely help in marketing local products where each of the barangays will be given a permanent booth for their display.
The mayor disclosed that funds for the put up of the market were sourced from President Rodrigo Duterte in the amount of P10 million, Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go who provided a similar amount, another P10 million from Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. and Benguet caretaker Representative Eric Yap who initially provided some P10 million aside from the P30 million that he sourced out for the completion of the town’s market facility.
Moreover, Fermin emphasized the maximum use of the provincial training center of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the municipality which is the first accredited training facility in the province that will cater to the vocational and technical skills training needs of people from the various towns.