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Army Camp to Open for Ecotourism

Camp Gen. Macario Peralta Jr. in Jamindan, Capiz is being considered to be developed as an ecotourism park.

The camp, which covers 33,310 hectares, was declared a military reservation in 1962 under Presidential Proclamation No. 67 issued by former President Diosdado Macapagal, and with official proclamation by virtue of Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 19 of the Municipality of Jamindan, Capiz. The Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division (3ID) holds its headquarters in said area and also administers the whole reservation.

“Our talks with the tourism department of the Local Government of Capiz, and other private enterprises see that the opening of the camp to tourists will offer opportunity to tell the world the rich cultural heritage of the people in this area,” said Mgen Jose Z. Mabanta Jr., commander of 3ID.

They also see the opportunity to “empower the communities and give employment opportunities for development.” “Tourists visiting the world class island resort of Boracay will now have another option for a place to visit to. Visiting the camp will give visitors a chance to understand more of the local society and culture here,” said Mabanta.

Despite being a military reservation, the area is actually inhabited, with 27 barangays covering the municipalities of Jamindan and Tapaz in Capiz province and Lambunao in Iloilo province. The area is also home to the Tumandoks, the largest group of indigenous people inhabiting the area.

3ID said that it continues to coordinate with the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) in protecting and promoting the interest and well-being of the indigenous communities, especially their beliefs, customs, traditions and institutions.

The camp is considered a nature park and wildlife sanctuary and boasts of many other possible tourist attractions. Mabanta shared, “With the five waterfalls that we have so far discovered here at the immediate vicinity of the cantonment area, this is one of the best places to travel to and appreciate what the natural environment can offer. We believe there are more unexplored waterfalls that is within the reservation.”

Said camp is 54 kilometers away from Roxas City, Capiz; 88 kilometers from Kalibo, Aklan; 122 kilometers from Iloilo City; and 150 kilometers from Caticlan, Aklan.