Davao City – An official from the Davao del Sur town of Matanao lauded Wednesday the success of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in securing their hinterlands as various tourism sites are now sprouting in their municipality.
Clover Jane Sabornido, Matanao tourism office head, recalled in an interview with the Philippine News Agency how their town was once infiltrated by New People’s Army (NPA) before becoming peaceful and ripe for tourism.
“Matanao is a red zone for NPA before, but now we have opened various tourism sites and the people can visit anytime,” she said.
For instance, Sabornido said Barangay Asbang, a former NPA lair, is now a tourism destination where Su’Bon Cave is located.
Su’Bon cave was opened to the public in April last year, attracting visitors even amidst the pandemic.
Sabornido said the cave is home to different astounding and unique troglofauna and stygofauna that are important in maintaining ecosystem function that benefits the human population.
“I appreciate the NTF-ELCAC program. It is the reason our two barangays with major tourism destinations became peaceful and safe to visit,” Sabornido said.
The NTF-ELCAC is a task force organized by the government to respond and raise awareness of the communist insurgency in the countryside.
It was created through Executive Order 70 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2018 institutionalizing the whole-of-nation approach to address the local communist armed conflict. It is a convergence of various government agencies grouped into 12 clusters with their specific mandates.
Sabornido invited the people in Davao Region to discover Matanao and visit various sites caves, waterfalls, mountain ranges with minimal entrance fees.
“I hope you can visit Matanao very soon, especially this summer,” she said.
With the help of national agencies, the local government has identified more than 20 caves, 10 waterfalls, and numerous mountain ranges for tourists to visit in the area. (Che Palicte)
(Source: Philippine News Agency)