SABLAN, Benguet – The municipal government is banking on its scenic tourist destinations and agriculture as the major drivers of its economy to provide sustainable income for the residents.
Mayor Alfredo Dacumos, Jr. stated that despite being a lower class municipality, residents have their own established sources of livelihoods, principally tourism and agriculture.
He claimed that by next year, the municipal government will focus on the development and opening of new tourist destinations aside from improving the production of vegetables and fruits to help in providing sources of livelihood for the people and further improving the current state of the local economy that was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mayor requested the municipal agriculture office to conduct a study on how to further improve the vegetable and fruit production in the locality to help in providing adequate income for the residents who heavily rely on vegetables and fruits as their main source of income, especially that Sablan has been identified as the fruit basket of the province.
According to him, vegetable and fruit farmers must adopt the appropriate technologies to help in improving the quality and volume of their agricultural produce for them to be able to command a higher market price and ensure that they earn a decent income.
Sablan is one of the lower-class municipalities in the province that is located between the highland and lowland communities that is why it is conducive to the production of semi-temperate agricultural crops and fruits.
In the case of the town’s tourist destinations, Mayor Dacumos stipulated that the local government will be slowly opening up the various waterfalls, rivers and trekking destinations for interested residents and visitors alike to help in preserving and protecting the current state of the environment in the municipality and allow people to be able to explore its beauty.
In the past, Sablan has been a favorite place of tourists for their weekend outings and picnics within its pristine waterfalls and rivers.
Dacumos also wants the municipal agriculture office to study the possibility of rescheduling the date of the annual town’s fruit festival to coincide with the fruiting season of most fruits so these can be showcased for residents and visitors to be able to enjoy the festivities, unlike in the current set up where the fruit festival is being done every first week of September when there are few fruits available
The mayor wants the fruit festival to be celebrated either on the first week up to the third week of August when there are abundant fruits in the locality to make sure that farmers can have a ready market and for visitors will be able to enjoy the celebration with a sufficient supply of fruits that will be sold and presented during the various activities lined up for the celebration.