DIADI, Nueva Vizcaya—Public and private agencies are pouring in sizable funds for the development of the Lower Magat Eco-Tourism Park in Barangay San Luis here.
Nequita Castro, park manager, said its recent completed development project was the P3 million ticketing and briefing house.
She said development funds are being provided to the LMETP as an alternative eco-tourism attraction in the province. It has been living up to its investments raising “huge income.”
“For the first semester of this year alone, we were able to raise more than 50 percent of our target income for this year. LMETP has proven itself as one of the major income generators for our province,” Castro said.
The provincial government has also completed the park’s flower garden while additional accommodation rooms, a conference hall, and more swimming pools will be constructed, she added.
LMETP was transformed into an eco-tourism attraction in Nueva Vizcaya after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources donated a portion of the 25,000-hectare Lower Magat Forest Reserve to the provincial government and the municipal government of Diadi.
The area was then tapped as a venue for weekly tree planting and regular fun and recreation centers of officials and employees of the provincial government.
The weekly tree planting succeeded in increasing the number of trees in the forest. Construction of huts and cottages of offices of the provincial government within the 1.4-hectare LMETP eventually followed.
Based on the Forest Enrichment Plan of the provincial government for the park, visitors and patrons of the park will be required to plant at least 10 tree seedlings per person to help in its preservation, reforestation and maintenance.
“With this scheme, we hope to provide a whole year round of tree shade. When leaves of the teak trees fall, the leaves of mahogany trees will provide the shade,” Castro said.
The LMETP was named as such to showcase its distinction as an eco-tourism attraction in the province.
It offers facilities and amenities such as souvenir stalls, parking area, log cabins, dormitories, a pavilion, native cottages, picnic huts, swimming pool, boat riding, fishing pond, animal zone, eco walk trails, firing range, horseback riding, bicycle riding, coffee shop, water cascading restaurant, and camping areas, among others.
“From a mere P75,000 income a week in the late 2000s, it is now raking just under a million pesos a week because of the increasing number of visitors, especially during its peak season,” Castro said.