By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.
SORSOGON CITY – After the installations of water pumping stations and the construction of water impounding structures, the Sorsogon City Water District is focusing to develop an eco-tourism park in their 631 hectare watershed area along the Macabog Pangpang Mountain Range that traverses the barangays of Capuy, Ticol, Basud, Guinlajon, Pangpang, Macabog, San Juan (Roro) and Bibincahan.
The plan was conceptualized back in 1994 when the Sorsogon Watershed Development Council, a multi-partite group formulated plans and programs to develop and protect the watershed area.
But unforseen events overcome the implementation of the project which according to Engineer Ronaldo Barboño, SCWD general manager,they hope to implement with the assistance of the provincial government of Sorsogon. They are readying the blue print of the eco-tourism park including the detailed plans they will present to Governor Raul Lee estimated to cost 2 million pesos covering basic infrastructure expenditures and operational expenses.
Funding constraint limited SCWD watershed protection programs to develop portion of the area as eco-tourism park showcasing the flora and fauna endemics in the area intended primarily for rest and education tours. It will include a botanical and animal zoo which are in-demand by nature enthusiast. Upon its completion, a management council will oversee the eco-tourism park aiming for self-liquidation through package tours and similar strategies of eco-tourism parks.
To protect the watershed, it initiated a proposal for the inclusion of the Sorsogon City Watershed in the Billion Trees Program for a three year period seeking funding from local and international environmental sources. They have likewise appealed to the city government of Sorsogon to spearhead the finalization of the Memorandum of Agreement among concerned agencies and the covered barangays regarding watershed development and protection. BicolToday.com
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