The capacity building of Protected Areas Management Board (PAMB) stakeholders and Protected Areas Management Office (PAMO) staff for assessing and developing the Ecotourism Plan in Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape (UMRBPL) was held at Conference Hall of PENRO Rizal with the aim to enhance tourism in the aforementioned protected areas.
The first topic was Guidelines for Ecotourism Planning and Management in Protected Areas, discussed by Mr. Elpido Guerrera Jr., Senior Environment Management Specialist of the Biodiversity Management Board (BMB) assigned in the National Parks Division Unit. He talked about the ecotourism concepts and principles, the current status, processes, and strategies involved in ecotourism planning and management, the prescribed standard design and specifications of ecotourism facilities and amenities, and the essential considerations for monitoring the impact of ecotourism activities. Mr. Gabriel Anthony Ferrer, Environment Management Specialist I of BMB, further discussed the Revised Rates of fees for Entrance and Use of Facilities and Resources in Protected Areas (PA), the status, powers, and function of PAMB, the functional relationship between the DENR and PAMB, Ecosystem Management Strategies, Visitor management, Carrying Capacity, Management Zone, and the Ecotourism Planning and Management Process.
In the afternoon session, Ms. Jomelyn M. Abuan, Municipal Tourism Officer of Montalban, explicitly explained Executive No. 111 known as the Guidelines for Ecotourism Development in the Philippines wherein she highlighted the procedural activities on how an area is being developed. She set Pamitinan Protected Landscape (PPL) as an example of a Protected Area certified by Regional Ecotourism Committee within the CALABARZON Region. A topic of Sustainable Ecotourism followed after her discussion as discussed by Mr. Roderick Gonzales, Coordinating Committee of Camp Crame, Quezon City. He presented and explained the Republic Act 9593, which includes the DOT mandate on Sustainable Tourism (ST), Economics, Concepts, Trends, Business, and its Public and Private Roles. After his topic, Atty. Ma. Roselle Leung, currently assigned as Attorney II of PENRO Rizal, briefly tackled the meaning of tourism, Sustainable tourism, responsible travel, and Greenwashing.
With this, the participants gained a new insight on how to manage the prospect of tourism within the UMRBPL with Mr. Gonzales saying that their ability and efforts to manage the people must be maximized.