The provincial government of Antique will develop the two contiguous insurgency-cleared barangays of Sibalom and San Remigio towns as a tourism hub to activate the economy and provide livelihood to residents.
Vice Governor Edgar Denosta made the remark during the turnover of the PHP40 million worth of projects to Barangay Aningalan, San Remigio, and Barangay Cabladan, Sibalom, funded under the Barangay Support Development Program of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) on Thursday.
The projects in Cabladan consisted of a farm-to-market road (FMR), an improvement of the water system, an electrification project, and the construction of a school building, all worth PHP20 million.
The PHP20 million fund of Aningalan went to the construction of FMR from Aningalan to Barangay Bulan-bulan, also in San Remigio.
He said he would file a resolution during their regular session on Monday requesting a PHP30 million fund under the Local Government Support Program (LGSP) of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to complete the road network between the two barangays.
“With the completion of the farm-to-market (FMR) road in Barangay Cabladan, there is only a remaining of little more than a kilometer for the barangay to connect with Aningalan,” he said.
With the completion of the road network, tourists could visit the Cabladan, which has a cool climate and beautiful upland scenery similar to Aningalan.
Aningalan, known as the “Little Baguio” in Antique for its cool climate, has been experiencing an influx of tourists.
“Barangay Cabladan is part of the Sibalom Natural Park (SNP) that covers 6,778.44 hectares,” he said.
The SNP was declared a natural park through Republic Act 11038 in 2018 and opened to tourists on March 1, 2022.
It hosts the world’s largest flower Rafflesia, century-old trees such as the Laua-an species, Visayan Warty Pig, Visayan Tarictic Hornbill, and Visayan Spotted Deer.
Antique DILG provincial director John Ace Azarcon said he would endorse the request for PHP30 million fund, once it is available, to their regional office in Iloilo City.
“Barangays could access the LGSF if they have specific projects,” he said during the turnover ceremony.
Punong Barangays Arnulfo Marcos of Angingalan and Elias Fabillo of Cabladan said their projects are beneficial to their communities because they would ensure sustained peace and order in their areas. (PNA)