BACOLOD, LANAO DEL NORTE, Aug. 1 – To strengthen cultural and tourism governance of local government units (LGUs), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) – Lanao del Norte, through the Local Governance Provincial Resource Center (LGPRC) convergence orchestration initiative, bridged and brought together the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte, Municipal Government of Bacolod, Barangay Liangan East, Bacolod, the Department of Education (DepEd), and the University of the Philippines (UP) School of Archeology, in the Archeological Exploration of Fort Almonte a Spanish fort ruins located in Liangan East, Bacolod, along the banks of the Liangan River Delta.

The exploration aimed to come up with a comprehensive scientific Archeological Study and Report for Fort Almonte to understand its history and significance as well as reconstruct its past. It also aims to petition the Fort Almonte as National Cultural Treasure by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and to be part of an educational material that may be ready for public exposition.

“The Archeological study in our peace and development lens is seen to expand understanding and foster a multi-dimensional appreciation of shared history, not only focused on the history of conflict but more on nurturing better understanding and collaboration of peoples from different races and faiths to co-creating a shared vision for peace, development, and good governance,” said Provincial Director Bruce Augusto Colao.

In the arena of tourism development, the study is also seen to help ease the burden of the stigma of conflict affecting Lanao del Norte when in truth and in fact it is one of the most peaceful provinces in Northern Mindanao.

Moreover, it was noted that the efforts in local tourism and tourism development are now covered under one of the governance areas of the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG), acknowledging that all undertaking, may it be at the local and national level, are aligned and consistent with the vision of a whole approach in governance.

The UP School of Archeology delegation was headed by Prof. Leee M. Neri, together with their students who will conduct the exploration from August 1-20, 2023.

Together with the delegates, the welcome program and briefing were attended by Provincial Tourism Officer Alerma Grace Y. Montañez, Bacolod Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator (MPDC) Buenafe P. Panoril, Jr., Business Processing and Licensing Officer (BPLO) Lloyd Voltaire Lao, MLGOO Cherry L. Senturias, DepEd District Supervisor Josephine V. Viscaya, and the teachers from Liangan East Elementary School.

Section 17 of the Local Government Code of 1991 provides for the local government units to discharge functions and responsibilities, among others, the tourism facilities, development, and promotion programs. (DILG Lanao del Norte / P. Monteron)