During the Regional Ecotourism Committee (REC) meeting on February 9, 2023, the Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 6 Regional Director Crisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez turned over the chairpersonship of REC for the next three years from 2023 until 2026 to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran, henceforth, all project, activities and dialogues will be under the directive of the DENR. This was held at the DENR 6 Activity Center witnessed by the members of REC and other partner government agencies.  

“Accepting this chairpersonship of the REC, we wanted to showcase the ecotourism sites here in Region 6. Our tourism sites which possess both beauty and balance could help, not just the tourism industry, but also the livelihood of the communities and the region’s environment and natural resources,” RED Duran said.

“Together with you – the DOT, NEDA, DA, NCIP and other government agencies we will make this ecotourism loop a success,” he added.

REC aims at strengthening the Western Visayas Ecotourism Loop which would also include the Seven Cities, Alimodian Ecotourism Site, Bucari Pine Forest and Campsite, and Sibalom Natural Park, among others.

The National Ecotourism Development Council (NEDC) and REC established a formal organizational structure for the development of ecotourism in the Philippines by virtue of Executive Order 111 issued on June 17, 1999.  They were created to effectively implement the programs and activities approved by the Council. 

By virtue of the same law, the REC chairmanship shall have a term of three (3) years and the agency that chairs the Committee also assumes and provides the needed resources from its own regular budget and to make the committee functions as required.