Guiuan town eyes tourism rebound from rebel-free status

June 17, 2015 5:29 am 

By Roel T. Amazona

GUIUAN, Eastern Samar, June 16 (PNA) – The declaration of Guiuan town as insurgency-free is a big boost for tourism recovery in this town ravaged by the 2013 catastrophe.

The Army’s 801st infantry brigade declared Guiuan town on June 8 as insurgency-free, the first area in Eastern Samar to achieve such status.

Mayor Christopher Sheen Gonzalez said that the declaration of insurgency-free has raised their confidence of bringing investors to their town, but this is also a great challenge for the local government unit (LGU).

This town has been an icon for tourism in the region with its rich history and culture and natural wonders that attracted a lot of tourists before super typhoon Yolanda struck.

The town’s Homonhon Island is the place where Ferdinand Magellan first landed. Tubabao Island, just about 100 meters away from the town center used, to be a refugee camp for more than 6,000 White Russians that fled from China.

Although they are declared as insurgency-free, Gonzalez said that the military is committed to continue its support.

“The AFP will maintain their presence to help us in ensuring that we will maintain our status as insurgency-free,” Gonzalez said, which Col. Leoncio A. Cirunay Jr., commander of 801st infantry brigade assured.

Commitment of local government officials and people is important in the declaration of insurgency-free status thus it will result for attracting more investors and tourist, Cirunay added.

“This will benefit all. Development will come-in, tourist will come-in and your town will prosper. This is your only way of convincing people from other places to come and for the government to give us more developmental projects,” the army official explained.

Now that the town is declared as insurgency-free, the military asked the LGU to partner with them in strengthening disaster management program by creating an instant disaster management team that will be in-charged in disaster preparedness and response. (PNA)

CTB/SQM/RTA

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