REGAINING MOMENTUM. Siargao Island is poised to regain its tourism vibe through the Mindanao Development Authority's (MinDA) project “VolunTurismo,” set to launch on Aug. 16, 2022. MinDA officials said Friday (Aug. 12, 2022) the initiative aims to capacitate stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of the island’s natural resources following the devastation wrought by Typhoon Odette. (Photo courtesy of www.pia.gov.ph)

DAVAO CITY – The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) is set to launch its project “VolunTurismo” on Surigao del Norte’s Siargao Island on August 16 to help the area bounce back from the devastation brought by Typhoon Odette last year.

Joey Recimilla, MinDA's director for policy, planning, and project development office, said Friday that “VolunTurismo” is a combination of volunteer and tourism, whereby travelers participate in voluntary work, typically for charity.

“This is part of the rehabilitation and recovery initiatives being pushed by MinDA to help the local economy of Siargao recuperate,” he said.

He said the project also intends to capacitate concerned participants in ensuring the sustainability of the islands’ natural resources, through an integrated area development approach.

“On behalf of MinDA, I am cordially inviting everyone to join the launching of VolunTurismo in the surfing capital of the Philippines, Siargao Island,” Recimilla said.

In collaboration with the Department of Tourism and local government units in Siargao, the premise of the project is for visitors to enjoy the island while volunteering to help rebuild its communities.

At least 100,000 tourists are targeted to join “VolunTurismo” and participate in agriculture activities, psychosocial support, and community building, such as reconstructing and painting many of Siargao’s infrastructures that were destroyed by the typhoon.

The line-up of activities also includes mangrove tree planting and beach cleanup.

Meanwhile, stress debriefing and psychosocial interventions for children, such as a poster-making contest, ‘palarong Pinoy’, and storytelling, will also be organized.

In addition, MinDA will conduct a tourism planning workshop with Siargao’s municipal planning and tourism officers as participants. (PNA)