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Apayao’s sustainable development is based on agro-tourism.

To achieve sustainable growth, the little town of Pudtol in the landlocked province of Apayao is relying on its huge woods, clean rivers, and a variety of agricultural goods.

Re-elected Mayor Hector Reuel Pascua said in an interview on Wednesday that his administration is focused on boosting economic activity in the area, with a greater emphasis on enhancing business competitiveness and livelihood development, as well as expanding support facilities to promote agro-tourism, just in time for the 7th Pinya Festival.

Despite the pandemic, Pascua said the local government unit has seen an increase in local businesses as more people turn to the municipality for their needs.

“People were used to going and getting their supplies from the outside,” Pascua explained.

The municipality hopes to improve economic competitiveness in the area by building business trade centers and encouraging more public and private partners to invest in the town through government intervention programs.

However, as a fourth-class municipality, the mayor acknowledged that the Pudtol government will require more cash for infrastructure support services for farmers, including micro, small, and medium businesses.

Pascua is optimistic that, in the midst of the global health crisis, small and underdeveloped communities like Pudtol will be given more possibilities to achieve their potential, thanks to an incoming president and vice president who used to work in local government.

The local chief executive is pleased that the agro-tourism industry is beginning to grow.

“We have accredited learning sites showcasing various technologies and best practices in agriculture, and these are located near our tourist destinations,” Pascua said, citing the public-private sector’s harmonious working relationship.

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