THE DAVAO Oriental provincial government has broken ground for the first phase of an inland resort within its tourism complex, with an initial allocation of P165 million from the local budget. “We cannot afford to simply wait for investors to locate and invest here. Since it is our interest to accommodate our visitors, I thought why not the provincial government invest instead,” Gov. Nelson L. Dayanghirang said in a statement released after Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony. The complex, located in the capital Mati City, will cover an eight-hectare property. The initial funding will be used for three dormitories, six family villas, storage and laundry, coffee and souvenir shop, a swimming pool, and a function area. The provincial government also plans to build a 1000-person capacity convention center for big events. “We serve the needs of our tourists and at the same time we earn,” Mr. Dayanghirang said. He noted that visitor arrivals in 2019 increased to about a million from about 800,000 the previous year. “Everybody is a winner on this project. This is the type of development that we want to espouse in our province wherein everyone shares on the benefits,” the governor said. Davao Oriental’s attractions include the Dahican beach and Subangan Museum in Mati, the museum and short trail at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Mt. Hamiguitan, and other nature sites. — Carmelito Q. Francisco