Saturday, October 20, 2018

Ilocos Norte enjoins Apayao for tourism exchange

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—Ilocos Norte and Apayao are both gifted with natural wonders. So, instead of fighting over a long-time boundary dispute, Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos reached out to the people of Apayao and offered a tourism exchange program to benefit both provinces.

In between aerial inspection of the southwest monsoon rain damages and delivery of relief goods to the affected residents of Adams and Carasi towns, Ms. Marcos touched down in Luna, Apayao to honor the invitation of Apayao Governor Elias C. Bulut Jr. as guest of honor and speaker during the 118th Philippine Civil Service Month celebration in Luna.

In her speech, she said the opening of the Ilocos Norte-Apayao road offers huge opportunities to both residents of Apayao and Ilocos Norte in terms of tourism development.

“It is now easy to come to Ilocos Norte via Solsona-Apayao road. I invite you to come visit our province. Let us not fight over our boundary as we are one family and one solid north,” Ms. Marcos said as she noted an “eat-all-you can fruit tour” in Ilocos Norte’s dragon fruit, mango and coconut can be extended to Apayao’s rambutan, lansones and durian fruits among others.

“We know for certain that the Cordillera is now open for business. We now have every manner of road, of tourism destinations and of agriculture produce ready to compete in any part of the country. Perhaps, we can send our two million tourists visiting Ilocos Norte to Apayao in order to boost community tourism,” added Ms. Marcos as she received a warm applause from thousands of Apayao residents who joined in the provincewide activity.

Ms. Marcos also lauded the Apayao government for initiating a unique celebration to honor government service workers.

Under the leadership of Mr. Bulut, all government employees, both from local and national line agencies were gathered as one to celebrate the Civil Service Month in Luna, where the government center is located.

“This is unusual and special occasion for our industrious and patient government workers with no overtime and no lunch break. Congratulations to all of us,” Ms. said Marcos as she flew back to Ilocos Norte via a military chopper to continue in the relief operations and inspection of damages in the province’s cultural minority groups.

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