TAGBILARAN CITY — The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) has approved the release of P40.3 million for the refurbishment of the iconic Chocolate Hills Complex in Carmen town, Bohol.
Cholo Paragas, TIEZA general manager, said that the fund will be allotted for the improvement works on the complex that houses the viewing area of the Chocolate Hills located in Carmen town.
While the viewing area is located in Carmen town, the more than 1,700 Chocolate Hills are spread through four towns of Bohol province.
More than rehabilitating the viewing facility, Paragas said that the project will include improvement of facilities in the complex which is frequented by tourists, both local and foreigners.
The fund was requested by Bohol 1st District Rep. Edgardo Chatto when he was still the governor.
“We actually just board-approved one of your requests during the most recent board meeting in June for the rehabilitation and improvement of the Chocolate Hills Complex costing P40.3 million,” Paragas told Chatto.
The project is intended to “provide tourists and visitors of Bohol, particularly at the Chocolate Hills Complex, with a facility that meets generally-accepted tourism industry standards.”
The rehabilitation project will also cover the establishment and construction of structures and facilities that will make the complex resilient to natural hazards such as earthquakes and landslides.
It is also designed “to introduce new and improved facilities that can help attract more tourists in the area, providing opportunities for the provincial government of Bohol and the municipal government of Carmen to earn revenues from the operation of the complex.”
The project is expected to help sustain Bohol’s tourism industry and in the preservation of its natural resources.
As an advocate of sustainable tourism, Chatto insisted on including “Infrastructure” on the originally-proposed TEZA under the National Tourism Act of 2009. Chatto was the principal author of the law in the House of Representatives.