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Guagua town to strengthen sustainable tourism

GUAGUA, Pampanga – The local government here has vowed to implement programs that will help sustain the tourism and industry sectors.

Mayor Anthony Joseph Torres said that since the country is still in the midst of the pandemic, the economic sector is one of the most severely affected by the virus, thus the need to assist businesses to recover from this.

“In our town, there is diversity when it comes to the industries that we have. Guagua is known for its guitar industry. We also have a world-class furniture industry here, as well as high-quality cue sticks,” he said.

With this, the mayor said the local government is now focusing on how to extend help and give support to these industries since some of the businesses and establishments were forced to close and stop their operations because of the pandemic.

Torres said the municipal government is planning to address shortage of raw materials, increase in prices of raw materials, and low demand from consumers to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic to these businesses.

Aside from that, he shared that there is a different approach to aid businesses by developing potential markets for manufacturers to sell their products.

“When we talk about the guitar industry, what comes to mind is how to improve the quality of the guitars that we produce. However, I believe that there is doubt about the quality of our products here. The challenge is how to increase demand for these products. What we are keen on in the next three years is to find ways on how to increase people’s interest in playing the guitar and billiards in order to develop potential market for these products,” he said.

In terms of tourism, the local chief executive said they continue sustainable tourism in the town, such as establishing more family-friendly spots where Guaguaeños can go to spend more time with their families.

“Currently, we continue to develop parks in Guagua and make them more appealing for our residents and other tourists. We are also planning to expand and expound product tourism in Guagua in order to attract more tourists and make our town livelier and more developed among other cities in the province,” he said.

Among the famous food products in Guagua are pastries, sweets, chicharon, and halo-halo.

Torres also invited local and domestic tourists to visit the St. James the Apostle Parish or the Betis Church, which is famed as the Sistine Chapel of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, to aid the agriculture sector recover from the pandemic and other natural disasters, the town’s first-ever rice mill and post-harvest facility is currently ongoing construction which aims to bring additional income to the town’s farmers.