By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The House committee on tourism has approved a bill seeking to declare Camarines Sur as the “Wakeboarding Capital of the Philippines.”
House Bill 7867, principally authored by Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte hurdled the House panel, chaired by Davao Oriental Rep. Corazon Nuñez-Malanyaon.
“The bill intends to ride the growth of wakeboarding and watersports in the country, especially in Camarines Sur, and help promote tourism in the province, by declaring Camarines Sur as the Wakeboarding Capital of the Philippines, ” Villafuerte said.
He attributed the increasing tourist arrivals in Camarines Sur to the growing recognition of his province as a major sports and adventure tourism destination–with the Camarines Sur Watersports Complex (CWC) at the helm of such growth and cognizance.
Dubbed as the “best wakeboard park in the world,” the six-hectare CWC is the first world-class watersports complex in the Philippines and in Asia.
Villafuerte said the CWC has been credited as the main pull for tourists to the province and the main reason for it topping the Department of Tourism’s tourist arrivals list year after year, citing three-million arrivals in 2013.
The CWC is situated within the Provincial Capitol Complex in Pili, Camarines Sur, the first and only local government unit-operated Tourism Economic Zone pursuant to Republic Act 7916
“The complex has attracted water sports enthusiasts from all over the world and has consistently been a favorite by both foreign and local travelers until today,” Villafuerte said.
He noted that CWC pioneered several world-renowned championship events and tournaments in wakeboarding, being the first to host the annual WWA Wake Park World Championships in 2008, which it also hosted in 2009 , 2010, 2016 and 2017, the Asian Wakepark Championship in 2008 and 2009, the Reef Asian Wakefest in 2010, the King of Wake-Asian Wakepark tour of WWA in 2012 and 2013, as well as the Philippine Wakeboard Nationals, which it hosted every year from 2006 to present.
House Bill 7867 declares the province of Camarines Sur, being a top destination for water sports in the country, as wakeboarding capital of the Philippines.
The bill seeks to rationalize all efforts pertaining to the promotion of tourism and making the tourism industry a major source of livelihood and an avenue employment generation.
Under HB 7867, Camarines Sur shall be accorded priority development and promotion by the
Department of Tourism (DOT) and its attached agencies.