Ifugao lawmaker: Fix roads to rice terraces to make trip more fun
MANILA, Philippines—”Getting upstairs” might be more fun in the Philippines. But what if the roads to known tourist attractions like the Ifugao rice terraces are pot-holed and few?
This was the question raised by Ifugao Representative Teddy Brawner Baguilat, who noted the lack of an infrastructure spending program to back up the new tourism promotion slogan which has caught the social media by storm.
In a statement, Baguilat said that it would not be fun for tourists to travel on unpaved and inadequate roads to Banaue, Mayoyao and Hungduan that have “the most beautiful of these heritage sites.”
“The photo of the Ifugao rice terraces was one of the very first cover photos used in the DOT’s campaign Web site titled ‘Getting upstairs. It’s more fun in the Philippines’. It’s about time the government put its money where its campaigns are and invest in badly needed infrastructure that would make it easier for both local and foreign tourists to see the expansive terraces,” said Baguilat said.
“Access to tourism areas (roads, air and sea ports) would be drastically improved if these were given priority by the Department of Public Works and Highways and the DOT should be prioritized to favor prime tourism areas,” said Baguilat.
“It seems that the DPWH pledge to allot the tourism infrastructure fund for these UNESCO heritage sites has been forgotten,” Baguilat said.
He cited the long delayed improvement of the airport in Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya, which would substantially cut travel time to the highlands.
“The airport improvement will not only benefit Ifugao but also the other tourist destinations in northern Luzon such as Sagada in Mountain Province,” he said. “Ifugao continues to attract many foreign tourists and we get regular packages of Korean and European tourists in our eco-tours but the common complaint is the difficult access.”
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