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Samar boatmen overseeing a tourist destination receive new motors

Cebuano Cebuano English English Filipino Filipino

After the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) handed over 10 motorboat engines to the organization on Tuesday, it was like giving the Tour Guides and Boat Operators for River Protection and Environmental Development Organization (Torpedo) an early Christmas present.

President of Torpedo Eugene Igdameo claimed that the engines had been crucial to the company’s revival when pandemic limitations prohibited tourists from visiting who wanted to take an extreme boat ride on the Ulot River in Paranas, Samar.

He recalled how their members had given up because there would be no revenue from 2020 till the beginning of 2022.

“We appreciate the TPB. This has been on the horizon for so long. As tourists begin returning to our places, this will help us make more money, Igdameo remarked.

Cesar Villanueva, the chairman of TPB’s domestic marketing division, remembered that they first became aware of the state of the local tourism organization during a visit to Paranas town in 2020.

Villanueva discovered that only four of the 22 boats utilized for the river excursion are owned by members of Torpedo; the rest are borrowed from nearby boat owners. The boat owner receives 60% of the boatmen’s earnings.

Villanueva informed the association members, “I hope you will use this wisely. There was a slight delay in the handover due to the procurement procedure.

Mayor of Paranas Eunice Babalcon, Regional Director of the Department of Tourism Karina Rosa Tiopes, and Samar Tourism Officer Marvin Pecson, who was there on behalf of Governor Sharee Ann Tan, all witnessed the handover.

According to Tiopes, a private company Taft Hydro Energy Corporation donated some boats to the group in August of last year before donating the engine.

One of the community-based groups in Samar province that oversees ecotourism destinations in each community is called Torpedo.

The group’s former members transported logs along the Ulot River as illegal loggers.

The group was established as an organization in 2007 by the DOT and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in order to operate the extreme riverboat excursion along Samar Island’s longest river, the Ulot River.

The organization was recognized as the best practice in community-based responsible tourism in 2018 by the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines – DOT Pearl Award for Best Tourism Practices.

Cebuano Cebuano English English Filipino Filipino

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