Congruent to its aim to develop and sustain farming and fishing communities in the province, the Provincial Tourism Office, together with the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, initiated the establishment of the Bataan Agri-Tourism Organization (BATO).
Last July 19, officers of BATO took their oath of office at the Bataan Tourism Center led by the Committee on Tourism Chair, Hon. Romano del Rosario, representing Gov. Abet Garcia.
Founded on February 7, 2021 BATO aims to lead in the development of Bataan as an agri-tourism destination of choice not only in Region 3 but also in the whole country. Currently, the province has budding agriculture-based industries that include coffee plantation, organic farming, and urban gardening.
To provide livelihood opportunities to the locals BATO seeks to open farms to the tourism market that offer day tours, pick and pay service, fish and pay service, seminars and workshops, camping, swimming, animal feeding, culinary tour among others.
Bataan Provincial Tourism Officer Alicia Pizarro, in her short message said that organizations like BATO help strengthen both the agricultural and tourism sectors in the province. “This is to open a path to leverage and develop a strong, agricultural sector as well as to boost the tourism sector.”
In recognition of the efforts of the newly elected officers, the Provincial Government of Bataan awarded them certificates of recognition as founding members of BATO.
The newly elected officers of BATO are: Guillermo Bantugan – president, Reynaldo Diaz – vice president, Maria Eloisa Diaz – secretary, Imelda Inieto – treasurer, Elnora Bernardino – auditor, Gina Mangalindan – PRO1, Jose Balboa – PRO2.
Also present during the event was Provincial Agriculturist Engr. Joey Roberto Dizon.
With report from Jhonder Martinez