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Transportation. The completion of the Banton Port next year should remove one of the biggest hindrances to Banton’s tourism plans.  This early, plans should be drawn so that the sea transport system would be tourist-friendly. This is very important because of the long travel time from Manila, the expected takeoff point of tourists, to Banton.

Given that the volume of people plying the Banton-Manila route may not be able to sustain a viable operation of two or more vessels, the municipal government, or the tourism coordinating office, should proactively invite shipping lines to join a pool from which it can select the most tourist-friendly motor vessel.

Other routes should be enhanced. For example, the Banton – Romblon route.  The fledgling tourism industry in the provincial capital can help. Given the proper promotion, tourists that go to Romblon may be enticed to proceed to Banton.

An accreditation system to ensure that motorboats transporting people in and out of Banton meet the standards of tourists should be put in place.

Accommodation. This is really a major concern. Presently, other than the government-owned guest house, there are no facilities for tourists’ lodging.  This should be one of the priorities in inviting investors or developers to the island. Given a good prospect, some enterprising Bantoanons may themselves venture into this business.

Communication.  Efforts should be exerted so that a cell site is installed in the island or at least in the nearby islands enough for Banton to receive signals. 

Water & Food Supply.  Water is a major concern during cuaresma. Something should be done about it. Clean drinking water should also be available.  A purified water re-filling station may be feasible.

Pork and beef do not seem to be much of a problem. Hogs and cows are still transported outside of the island which means that there is still an excess supply. Fish are sometimes scarce especially during times the sea is rough. Fishermen, including those from other islands, should not be allowed to bring their catch to other municipalities unless there is an oversupply.  Methods of preservations should be explored. Power rationalization should consider the operation of freezers.

Fresh foods are additional come-ons to visitors. We should explore other ways so that fresh vegetables are available. If we can minimize importation of vegetables from Mindoro, we should.

Local recipes should be identified such as inaslom and taghilaw. They can always make tourists’ stay memorable as the bachoy in Iloilo.

Local folks should also improve on quality. The local nutrition centers should, from time to time, introduce seminars on how to improve the quality of food. We have Bantoanon chefs working in hotels and restaurants who can serve as speakers.

Medical Services.  We should try to improve our medical facilities and services especially those concerning emergency cases.  A motorboat ambulance may be needed so that patients can be brought to Romblon immediately if the need so arises.

Power.  First, we should try to avoid brownouts as what sometimes happen during the Holy Week. Power should be rationalized. To distribute the loads, a new time scheme should be introduced – maybe one to two hours during the day for laundry or ironing or other household chores so that the townsfolk would not do these chores during the regular operating hours of the generators, thus preventing overloading.

Coordinators.  A coordinating office should be put up in Manila. This office will primarily serve to assist tourists who are going to Banton. This should also make communication with investors or travel agencies easier and faster. 

Other Services.  Surely, given good prospects, islanders would put up entertainment centers. Forms of cultural entertainment should be introduced and emphasized – not necessarily during gatherings or formal theatrical activities. For example, a choral group can be formed to perform “harana of local songs” to visitors.  Likewise, professional tourist guides need to be trained/developed.


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