Stakeholders signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) Wednesday in Surigao City for the establishment of a mining-tourism circuit in Surigao del Norte’s three mineral-rich towns. ‘This partnership will strengthen the advocacy for the development of mining sites in said municipalities into ecotourism destinations,’ Department of Tourism-13 Director Ivonnie Dumadag said in a phone interview on Thursday. Dumadag was referring to the MOA signed between DOT-13 together with gold miner Greenstone Resources Corporation (GRC), and the towns of Alegria, Mainit, and Tubod. Dumadag said the development of mined-out and rehabilitated areas for ecotourism purposes will provide livelihood opportunities to towns’ residents. It also reaffirms the government’s stance that responsible mining and tourism can coexist to bring economic benefits for mineral-rich but economically underdeveloped areas, she noted. She said mining and tourism are considered main economic drivers of Caraga, home to several large-scale miners and world-class tourism destinations such as Siargao Island. As part of the MOA, she said a series of capacity-building development training and activities will be implemented by the last quarter of the year. ‘During the Caraga Mining Resiliency Summit last month, where I was invited as a speaker, I challenged the mining companies in the region to include tourism initiatives in their priority programs in support of tourism development in mining communities,’ Dumadag said. She also noted the GRC is among the companies that have positively responded to the call through the creation of the mining tourism circuit in the three towns in neighboring Agusan del Norte.
Source: Philippines News Agency