Bacolod to launch Sum-ag river cruises

Posted on March 11, 2013

BACOLOD CITY -- The Bacolod City government is eyeing its own brand of river tourism with the planned introduction of leisurely cruises along the Sum-ag and Cabug rivers.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia and City Administrator John N. Orola led a river cruise last week as part of city government’s thrust to develop tourist attractions in southern Bacolod.

Mr. Orola, chairman of the Western Visayas Tourism Council, called the Sum-ag River a sleeping giant just waiting to be discovered.

"Many of us have taken the river for granted without realizing that it is not just a source of water but could be a potential for tourism, trade and livelihood opportunities, especially for the barangays in the area," he said.

He assured that construction of facilities along the rivers will have minimum environmental impact.

Among the attractions along the river are the Gawad Kalinga Village livelihood center and the mangrove plantation and sanctuary island in Punta Taytay, where about 27 species of migratory birds stop over to refuel.

Mr. Leonardia said they hope to duplicate the success of Loboc River in Bohol. Rehabilitation of the Sum-ag River will be funded by the national government for P2 million, he said. "Hopefully, if the process will somehow be accelerated, we anticipate that the P2 million for the rehabilitation of the Sum-ag River could come to the coffers of the city government within the first half of this year," Mr. Leonardia said.

He earlier proposed the need to build another bridge to connect Sum-ag and Bacolod, or vice versa, he said.

"If we could have a bridge connecting Bacolod proper to Sum-ag, it should have a ‘tourism flavor’ and maybe, we could come up with a design that will become, by itself, a tourist attraction," the mayor said. -- CGS