This is an Awardee of the Government Best Practice Recognition Awards
Integrated Community-Based Ecotourism Industry and the Coastal Resource Management (ICOMBTO-CRM)
Local Government Unit of Palompon, Leyte
Best practice Focus Area(s)
Leadership, Social and environmental responsibility
The Integrated Community-Based Ecotourism Industry and the Coastal Resource Management (ICOMBTO-CRM) is a program conceptualized by the Local Government Unit of Palompon, Leyte using community-based tourism both as tools for economic augmentation and nature conservation that started from the term of Former Mayor Ramon C. Onate way back in 2012.
Its evidence-based practices have drawn favorable output in terms of economic development for its people, its place, and its productivity as a program initiated with the position to stand on nature for attraction and the community to work for its potential contribution to economic development and environmental protection
Background and Problem
The primary objective of the program is to cater to the overall strategic themes of the Local Government Unit of Palompon which are Poverty Reduction, Quality Services, Public Order and Safety, and Ecological Integrity. However, dealing with natural phenomena such as typhoons and storm surges while managing a tourism destination is not a challenge but rather a way of life in Eastern Visayas.
Since the success dynamics of the program depends so much on effective and efficient output delivery, the LGU-Palompon utilized the PDCA cycle which is the Plan, Do, Check, Act to ensure the effectiveness of the programs, most especially on the targets mentioned. From here, municipal policies were crafted and aligned with the national agenda. These were accordingly done with substantial consideration of the marginalized sector in the locality. The proactive approach periodically verified the measures applied because excellence in governance also centers on the need for compliance in government regulation and its reportorial requirements at all times.
Solution and Impact
Tourism Industry is a highly competitive business and LGU-Palompon needed an extra edge to make the cut and stand different from all the common tourist destinations in the country. Hence, a Three (3)-point strategy was integrated into the program to wit:
- All Destination has its specific Carrying Capacity Policy enacted by Palompon Municipal Ecotourism Council (PMETC) Inc. based on the Physical Carrying Capacity of the environment adapted from the formula suggested by Boullon, Roberto C., 1985. Planificacion Del Espacio Turistico. Editorial Trillas, Mexico, Cifuentes (1992), Ceballos-Lascurain (1996), and Bacalla (2012).
- Solid Waste Management is an integral component of the local tourism itinerary package and Palompon Ecological Solid Waste Management Park is a “Must” Destination.
- Locally initiated nature conservation projects such as “Adlaw sa Danggit” were included from enforcement approaches to Community-Based Tourism facilitation. The said move was instrumental to promote community-based tourism as a tool for nature conservation and resource production.
With the “out of the box” strategy that the LGU Palompon has incorporated in the program, several identifiable results and impacts were gained and recognized to wit:
- LGU Palompon became the center of education for Region VIII on alternative solid waste management and sustainable tourism.
- The conceptualization of the program paved the way for LGU Palompon to utilize the Balance Scorecard System as a basis for delivering public service, augmenting local income, and professionalizing local governance.
- The program enabled the LGU Palompon to project an image as an “opportunity enabler” to the business sector instead of a competitor.
- The program afforded the LGU Palompon to deliver its primary responsibility to the community which is “to create jobs” for its people instead of simply “to provide jobs” for its people.
Tangible remarkable results and awards were gained by the program such as:
- 2014 Best Tourism Oriented LGU Pearl Award (GRAND WINNER) by ATOP-DOT (A national award 2015 given by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines.
- 2016 Best Tourism Oriented LGU Pearl Award (Hall of Fame) ATOP-DOT
- 2017 Best Tourism Event Pearl Award ( Grand Winner) by ATOP-DOT
- 2017 Galing Pook Award by Galing Pook Foundation, LGA, and DILG