Tripartite pact signed for Tinori-an River Eco-Tourism

At the festive Tinori-an River ceremony in Barangay Tinori-an, Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, officials signed a landmark Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), that launched the “Higher Education Research and Innovation Project: (Tinori-an River Community Based EcoTour) A Sustainable Tourism Approach to Resource Conservation.”

Forged on Wednesday afternoon, March 13, 2024, this partnership involves collaboration between the Iloilo State University of Fisheries Science and Technology (ISUFST) and the Local Government Units (LGUs) of Anilao and Barotac Nuevo.

The event welcomed officials from three institutions, barangay officials, and local residents. Graduates of ISUFST’s sustainable eco-tourism training program, mainly women and fishermen from the area, attended too.

Vice Mayor Ma. Theresa F. Debuque of Anilao and Vice Mayor Hernan D. Biron, Jr. of Barotac Nuevo represented their municipalities. They, alongside their mayors, pledged firm legislative, executive, and personal support for the project. University President Dr. Nordy Siason, Jr., representing ISUFST, echoed this commitment.

Dr. Siason, reflecting on his Tinori-an River childhood memories, implored everyone to protect the river and make necessary sacrifices for sustainable growth.

“The tripartite agreement for the Tinori-an River EcoTour project is not just about creating a new tourist destination; it’s about setting a new standard for how we interact with our environment, engage with our community, and envision our future,” he said.

Vice Mayor Biron expressed gratitude toward all partners and committed to realizing the project’s vision.

Vice Mayor Debuque encouraged locals to be disciplined and committed, comparing the initiative to Vietnam’s river cruises, and promising support through local legislation alongside Vice Mayor Biron.

Dr. Jescel Bito-onon, Project Head and Research and Development Director at ISUFST, outlined the project’s journey to a comprehensive initiative, emphasizing the need for collective action for the Tinori-an River’s hopeful and prosperous symbolism.

ISUFST’s Director of International Affairs and Linkages highlighted five key benefits of the project: environmental preservation, sustainable tourism for economic growth, community collaboration, research-driven knowledge advancement, and participative governance for social justice.

Endorsed by the respective Sangguniang Bayan of Barotac Nuevo and Anilao, the project will harness the Tinori-an River’s natural allure and biodiversity for eco-tourism, prioritizing resource conservation for the future. This agreement marks a pivotal step in sustainable development and environmental stewardship in the region, led by ISUFST’s sustainable tourism management strategies and LGUs’ policy and environmental clean-up support.

The tripartite agreement is a landmark for sustainable tourism, community involvement, and environmental care, poised to turn the Tinori-an River into a model of eco-tourism and sustainable progress. (News and Photos by Julius Ruger Hermano and John Vincent Manalo)