RDC Region IV-A officials, led by NEDA Region IV-A Dir. Luis G. Banua and DOT Region IV-A Dir. Rebecca V. Labit conducted the validation of the tourist destinations of the Polillo Group of Islands (POGI) on 18 to 22 April. POGI is located in the northeast of Manila. The RDC officials validated the existing and potential tourist sites, transportation system, communication facilities, power supply, enterprise and employment opportunities in the municipalities of Jomalig, Patnanungan and Panukulan, all from the Province of Quezon. The municipality of Polillo will be visited on a later date. The team likewise aims to initially identify possible tourism circuits in the region as well as areas of convergence among the local government units, regional line agencies, private sector, civil society organizations and community

During the validation, the team was able to identify the unique and diverse tourism attractions that need to be harnessed to attract different kinds of tourists. Jomalig boasts of a fine golden sand beach with pine forest as a backdrop while Patnanungan showcases a long shoreline, mangrove areas and bird and fish sanctuary, and Panukulan hosts diverse water resources such as cove, mangrove areas, waterfalls, rivers and fish sanctuaries.

The team took note of the emerging issues in the community which need to be addressed by concerned agencies and government units such as insufficient road networks and ports, inadequate clean water supply, insufficient power supply, poor implementation of solid waste management, inadequate clean and safe restrooms for men and women, insufficient accommodation facilities and presence of illegal fishing.

The output of the activity will be inputted to the POGI Tourism Master Plan preparation. Enhancing the tourism industry in the area is among the identified strategies to address chronic poverty in the area.

Site Validation
NEDA Region IV-A and DOT Region IV-A staff during validation of the tourist destinations of the Polillo Group of Islands.

Donna Riza P. Ronquillo, NEDA Region IV-A | Wednesday, April 27, 2016