JIPAPAD, Eastern Samar-Tourism and agriculture are the ‘best’ economic drivers for their town to achieve a measure of economic development.
Thus said Mayor Benjamin Ver who was quick to say that they could not promote their tourism industry unless they are prepared, to include the people.
“Developing tourism is challenging because you have to consider many things. We have to consider the peace and order, manpower, training, accessibility, but I am very much optimistic that achieve this plan,” the town mayor said.
Jipapad is located in the northeastern part of Eastern Samar province and is accessible through the Arteche-Jipapad Road or Arteche-Jipapad-Lapinig (Northern Samar) Road.
This small town with more than 8,000 population used to have problem in accessibility as the residents use boats as their means of transportation from their town to the municipality of Oras.
It takes them more than six hours of boat travel via the Oras River before reaching their municipality.
But after the government through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process constructed the Arteche-Jipapad-Lapinig Road, traveling to the municipality had become much easier.
From a hard-to-reach municipality, Jipapad has now become accessible to all types of vehicles making their hidden gem in tourism reachable to tourists.
“But I will never give a go signal to promote tourism unless the people are prepared,” Mayor Ver stressed.
Mayor Ver said that the residents of Jipapad must first learn and undergo training on hospitality management to make that tourist will have a meaningful stay and will not regret in visiting their town, the transport sector, accommodation and food services.
“Marketing and promoting our tourist destinations must also be carefully crafted and delivered,” he said.
One of the popular destinations in Jipapad is the Sanizi Falls located in Brgy. Cagmanaba, about 45 minutes to one hour boat ride from the town proper or a two hours trek.
From the village, tourists have to walk for about 15 minutes before they could reach the waterfalls.
“If only there is a farm-to-market road to that barangay, going to Sanizi will be easier because it’s only 8 kilometers away from our town,” Ver said.
Ver said that he already send letters to government agencies like the Department of Agriculture to seek help in construction of farm-to-market road to the village.
Creating an access road to the village will not only help in making the waterfalls more accessible to tourists but will also help the villagers transport their products to the town proper.
The town is abundant in locally produce farm products like vegetables and root crops.
“So I told the farmers to increase their productions. My goal is when our town is prepared and the tourist destinations are already develop, the ingredients such as vegetables that our locals need to prepare food for the tourists must all come from our town,” Ver said.