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Saturday, July 13, 2024

DOT expresses support for House bill seeking protection of Chocolate Hills

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The Department of Tourism (DOT) expressed strong support for House Bill No. 10438 which seeks to improve the management and protection of the world-renowned Chocolate Hills in Bohol province.

“The Chocolate Hills are a vital part of our national heritage and an iconic tourist destination. This bill underscores our collective responsibility to safeguard and develop this unique natural wonder for future generations,” said DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco.

The proposed bill, filed by Rep. Edgar Chatto and co-authored by Bohol representatives, aims to achieve several key goals.

The bill proposes to include representatives from the DOT, the National Museum, Bohol’s UNESCO technical committee, the religious sector and local environmental experts.

The broadening the representation of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) aims to ensure a more inclusive and comprehensive approach to protecting and managing the Chocolate Hills.

The amendments are aligned with the DOT’s commitment to sustainable tourism and the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2023-28 outlined by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

It proposes to include the adjacent towns of Valencia and Sierra-Bullones, bringing the total protected area under the Chocolate Hills’ purview to encompass all 1,776 hills.

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