Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (IPPF) is exploring the possibility of opening additional tour sites within its property.
Levi Evangelista, IPPF spokesperson, said that they are evaluating four possible tourist sites for development inside Iwahig.
These are Balsajan (also Balsahan) Falls, re-opening of the Iwahig firefly watching tour, a potential fishing area in Montible, and the rehabilitation of the Sta. Lucia Sub-colony which is a habitat for the endangered Philippine cockatoo (katala), he said.
He added that two local investors are interested in re-operating the firefly watching tour.
For the fishing area, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will be donating P300,000 tilapia fingerlings while the Katala Foundation, Inc. (KFI) is working with Iwahig to plant more trees in Sta. Lucia, Evangelista also said.
“Kapag may mga turista na pumupunta dyan, malaking bagay din ito sa ating mga persons deprived of liberty (PDL) na may nakakausap sila in preparation na rin sa kanilang pag-alis para di naman sila ‘yong naiilang sa community,” Evangelista said Tuesday.
Despite the focus on tourism, Evangelista said their main mission and vision in the corrections facility is the security and reformation of inmates.
“Actually, sa mission and vision ni Iwahig, hindi naman kasama si tourism kasi ang pinaka-basic namin ay security. Number one and number two ay reformation ng mga inmates since si city ay in-include as one of the tourist destinations, so we have to live with it,” Evangelista added.
He assured that the inmates are secured inside the penal farm and the tourists visiting the area are not compromised.
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