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BATANGAS, Philippines – The eruption of Taal volcano left a huge impact in tourism sites in the province of Batangas, particularly those located within the 14-kilometer danger zone.
An initial report released by the Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (PTCAO) says tourism sites in the 14-kilometer zone suffered estimated damage amounting to P86.5 million and estimated losses of P123.2 million.
Meanwhile, cultural sites in the same area recorded damage of around P2.8 million and losses of P376,000.
PTCAO Department Head Sylvia Marasigan said the data gathered will be used as a basis for the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to come up with a rehabilitation and recovery program for Taal volcano-affected areas. (READ: Duterte declares state of calamity in Calabarzon due to Taal Volcano unrest)
To help mitigate the impact of the eruption to tourism sites, Marasigan said their office has lined up skills enhancement and capability-building programs for tourism frontliners. They will also work on updating the Provincial Tourism Development Plan.
Faith Tourism sites will be promoted during the lenten season while establishments along the Batangas bayside will be pushed in preparation for the summer season.
The province will also continue to use the slogan “Batangas Magiting” which reflects the resilience of Batangueños.
Last year, the province of Batangas was recognized by the Department of Tourism after grabbing the eighth spot in the Top 10 Tourist Destinations in the Philippines with over 15 million visitors for the year 2018.
PTCAO’s latest data shows a decline of two million visitors for the year 2019, registering over 13 million visitors to the province. – Rappler.com