MATUGUINAO, Samar – The local government here has developed its cold springs into tourist destinations to attract more visitors to the town that used to be a communist hotbed.
The local government unit has spent PHP5 million for the initial development of two spring resorts, said Mayor Aran Boller in an interview on Thursday.
“We develop this to become an income-generating project for the local government. We hope this could bring economic development, help promote the town's tourism potential, and erase the negative image of the town tainted by armed conflict,” Boller said.
The two spring resorts are Maslog Cold Spring within the Gandara-Matuguinao Road and the Matugnao Cold Spring near the town center.
The entrance fee is only PHP25 and is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Matuguinao used to be a geographically isolated and disadvantaged area and was only accessible through a six-hour boat ride.
But since the completion of the road network funded by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process in 2017, the town is now accessible through a 45-minute land trip.
The local government will organize a people's organization to manage the two destinations. The organization may include former rebels who have surrendered to the government.
Boller said the local government would also build toilets and dressing rooms, multi-purpose buildings for gatherings, cottages, and kiosks.
Two personnel will man the spring resort to ensure cleanliness and impose the observance of minimum health protocols.
Aside from cold springs, the town boasts of waterfalls and caves that tourists can visit.
Matuguinao is a fifth-class town in Samar province with a population of 7,288 people. The town is 105 kilometers from Tacloban City, the regional capital. (PNA)