PGMA does a ‘tourist’ check on LGU-owned resort

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo surprised her delegation and advanced party here today when she shunned off a catered lunch at the Surigao del Norte College of Agriculture and Technology (NSCAT) to have it at the Mainit Kasili Resort, a pilot local gov’t project which opened in 2008.

The Chief Executive arrived here in this town for the third leg of her Super Region tour, which is now focused on Mindanao Agribusiness.

The catered food had to be brought from the NSCAT canteen to the LGU-owned resort, where the President took time checking on the rooms and the Mainit Lake from the semi-circular restaurant with al fresco settings.

The hotel employees, mostly local residents, were so ecstatic having a close-up view of the President and shouted hello and welcome greetings to her.

The President earlier gave financial support for the concreting of vital road networks, construction of barangay halls and the Siana gymnasium, construction of day care centers in four districts of Mainit, the construction of the legislative building, farm to market roads, the installation of Barangay Bagsakan, the improvement of the public market and Tindahan Natin Operation in areas with high incidence of hunger. All the projects contributed to the image and tourism potential of this town.

Funded by a P20- million loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines using the town’s internal revenue allotment (IRA) of P36 million as collateral, the project is the brainchild of Mainit Mayor Ramon Beltran Mondano as his way “of bailing out our town from poverty and to make us financially independent eventually from the national government.”

Mondano, in an interview, said in his travels to Thailand and the United States, he kept inquiring why they were so prosperous and “the answer I always get is tourism or a combination of agriculture and tourism, which I have aplenty in my town.”

“I then hired consultants from Davao to do the feasibility study on the tourism potential of my town and the Land Bank was impressed by the study that it lent me what I needed to put up the air-conditioned 52-room hotel of which 30 rooms are dormitories, three swimming pools, one tennis court, a 300-seater convention center (with auditorium), 2 videoke rooms and a 200-seater restaurant,” said the mayor.

“Since our soft opening in November 2009, our pools had been earning P7,000 a night and the rooms, though still not a peak summer season, gets sold out for conferences and family tourists from neighboring towns and barangays and from nearby provinces as well,” Mondano said.

Tourism sites in this town are: Lake Mainit, Lake Silop, Togonan Falls, Municipal Building, Kasili Resort and Hotel, Mapaso Hot Spring, Dayano Cave and the Mabuyok Festival.

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