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Lucy confident planned Lake Danao dev’t to push through

Cong. Lucy Torres-Gomez is mobbed by supporters during a recent visit to the night market in Palompon town, where another tourism project she has proposed has been approved by the Philippine Tourism Authority.

CONG. LUCY Marie Torres-Gomez over the weekend said she is confident that her proposed tourism development projects for Lake Danao in the city will push througAh, despite fears raised by supporters that it would be blocked by the city administration.
“I don’t think so, oi, because Mayor Codilla knows naman that it is for the good of the city”, she said. “Anyway, we can put our developments side by side and let it compliment each other”, she said, upon knowing that the city had earmarked during the last City Development Council meeting some P5-million to jumpstart tourism development there.
“After all”, she added, “what we are doing is for the good of the people. Tourism will bring visitors over, generate jobs for the people and stir the economy”.
Another area that would also be developed is in Palompon. The congresswoman had already gotten the approval of the Philippine Tourism Authority for P15-million which were earmarked for Lake Danao here and Palompon town.
The congresswoman added she is happy to note that in the few months that she was congresswoman, she had already done a concrete step towards the development of two potential tourism areas of her district.
“At least”, she said, “I did not only give it lip service”, reminding that tourism development was one of their campaign platforms and they are doing all they can to make it true.
The congresswoman, however, could not hide her disappointment at being rebuffed from bringing in a group of entertainer-friends over to the city for a free concert this week.
The congresswoman said they wanted to use the city stage and have paid for the permit already, but this was cancelled at the last moment. The person who processed it was reportedly told she had to build her own stage if she wanted to put up a show in the city.
Because of the rejection, Cong. Gomez decided to give Ormocanons and visitors to the city to another form of free treats. Tons of boiled sweet corn and ice cream were given out to the crowd that milled around her office downtown during the Charter Day on October 20.
She also extended her felicitations to the organizers of the 1st Tugob Festival, saying reports reaching her indicate it was a success. “I am glad for its success. What is good for Ormoc is good for me”, she said.
Meanwhile, a document obtained by the EV Mail shows that the city government has an agreement with the Protected Areas and Management Board or PAMB headed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to develop eco-tourism facilities in the Lake.
Signed last June 7, 2005 or five years ago, the memorandum of agreement states that the city has included the Lake in its five-year development agenda as a tourist destination, and would be providing funds thereof. It has been more than five years since the contract was signed.
The area consists of 2.53 hectares, including that fronting the already dilapidated Administration building constructed there by the DENR, the”Inawasan” or where the lake spills its water downstream across a spillway and a former property of “Mr. Percerga”.
The contract is very specific. That the PAMB “shall not enter into contract with other interested parties within the designated recreational zone for the same purpose during the duration of the agreement”.
As it is, Cong. Lucy Torres-Gomez will have to look for another area aside from the contracted area in the big lake where to put up her proposed floating pavilion, zip lines and wakeboards drawn up, approved and funded by the Philippine Tourism Authority. By Lalaine M. Jimenea

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