BONTOC, Mountain Province – Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. prodded the State-run Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Authority (TIEZA) to immediately pursue the long overdue rehabilitation of the historic Mount Data hotel situated in Bauko town to help in providing additional accommodation facilities for foreign and domestic tourists visiting the scenic tourist destinations in the province and wanting to stay in the area longer.
Lacwasan, who brought the issued on the delayed rehabilitation of the hotel to Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, vice chairman of the Senate committee on tourism, during his recent visit to the province, said the province’s tourism industry suffered a significant setback with the closure of the historic Mount Data hotel because foreign and local tourists have to move out of the province within the day to look for nearby accommodation facilities where they could spend the night.
“”We remain optimistic that the programmed rehabilitation of our very Mount Data hotel will be pursued anytime so that the province will have additional accommodation facilities to cater to the demands of tourists wanting to spend more time in visiting the different tourist destinations considering the strategic location of the hotel,” Lacwasan stressed.
The governor added that tourism officials are also looking into the matter that is why local officials are keeping their fingers crossed that the P200 million project will push through so that the hotel will be able to increase its capacity to entice more visitors to spend their desired break in the province in the future.
He disclosed Banaue hotel in nearby Ifugao was able to benefit from the influx of foreign and domestic visitors because of the opening of the Bagabag airport to flights from the Clark international airport and many tourists want to also extend their visit to scenic tourist spots in Mountain Province for them to maximize their vacation but the absence of sufficient accommodation facilities is actually a problem for them.
It can be recalled that TIEZA took over the management of the Mount Data hotel from the provincial government in February 2016 and decided to close its operation because of the programmed rehabilitation that was never implemented to date casting doubts on the sincerity of the tourism department to pursue the realization of the project.
In 2006, the provincial government took over the management of the hotel from the former Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) because of the desire of the previous administration’s bid to empower local governments to effectively and efficiently manage the operation of State-run accommodation facilities and tourist destinations in the different parts of the country.
Lacwasan underscored that Mount Data hotel is one of the areas in the province that played a role in the region’s rich history that is why its upcoming rehabilitation and eventual operation will be a reminder to the present and future generations that it was a witness to the reign of peace in the Cordillera.
On September 13, 1986, former President Corazon C. Aquino and the late Conrado Balweg of the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) signed the historic ‘sipat’ that signalled the end of armed hostilities between government forces and the CPLA in the different parts of the region which resulted to the establishment of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) by virtue of Executive Order (EO) No. 220 signed on July 15, 1987. By HENT