NIA Central Office, Quezon City – The National Irrigation Administration is eyeing big irrigation dams as tourist destinations.
In one of his interviews, NIA Administrator Ricardo Visaya said that the agency is opening its door to Local Government Units (LGUs) and other private investors for future partnership in the usage of NIA-owned dams as tourist destination.
The NIA chief cited Caliraya Dam in Laguna as a perfect example for the plan. He also mentioned Bustos Dam in Bulacan and Pantabangan Dam in Nueva Ecija which can serve as pioneer tourist destinations that can be duplicated in other areas.
“Hindi naman siya magiging sagabal sa primary function ng NIA which is irrigation. Gusto lang din namin na mabigyan ng iba’t-ibang options ang mga foreign and local tourists natin”, he added.
Though there is no detailed study yet, the agency is optimistic that this endeavor will allow its visitors to enjoy the nature while doing outdoor and team building activities like inland fishing, kayaks riding, bicycle riding, wall climbing, rapelling, etc. within the area. A zip line structure can also be a possible attraction for those who are looking for some extreme adventure.
Administrator Visaya said that ecotourism is a concept that provides a “win-win” situation.
“Aside from the additional income that the government will be getting out of this (Ecotourism), I think the important thing is that we can increase awareness on the importance of our watershed and how to conserve it for the future”, he said.
The NIA chief is keen in utilizing the agency’s irrigation systems to attain its optimum benefits not only for farmers but also to communities.
Ecotourism is uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel to conserve the environment and improve the well-being of local people.