By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The House Committee on Tourism has approved a bill seeking to declare the province of Camarines Norte as the “surfing capital in the Bicol region.”
House Bill 7049, authored by Camarines Norte Rep. Marisol Panotes, hurdled the panel, chaired by Davao Oriental Rep. Corazon Nuñez-Malanyaon.
“The coastal Barangay Bagasbas in the municipality of Daet, the capital town of the province of Camarines Norte, has become one of the major tourist destinations in the Bicol region because to the giant curly waves along the coastlines that has attracted local and foreign tourists who are surfing afficionados, ” Panotes said.
“The realization of the noble objective of this bill will certainly help develop not only this coastal barangay but the entire province of Camarines Norte due to the possible influx of surfers that will greatly contribute to further growth of tourism in the Bicol region,” she said.
House Bill 7049 declares Camarines Norte as a tourist destination and the “Surfing Capital of the Bicol Region.” The proposed “Camarines Norte Surfing Capital of the Bicol Region Act” tasks the Department of Tourism (DOT) to prioritize the development of Camarines Norte.
Within one year after the approval of the measure, the DOT, in coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and other concerned agencies shall prepare a tourism development plan involving the construction, installation and maintenance of appropriate facilities and infrastructures, the bill provides.
The DOT is mandated to develop and promote the beaches and surfing activities of the province of Camarines Norte and ensure accessibility and security of tourists.
The DOT secretary shall include in the department’s program the implementation of the proposed act, the funding of which shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act and from internally generated funds of the DOT, according to HB 7049.
The DOT, in consultation with the local government of the province of Camarines Norte, shall formulate the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed act, the bill provides.