MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, July 27 (PNA) -– The paved road leading to the 320-hectare Maasin City Forest Park in Malapoc village, which houses the only zoo in Eastern Visayas, is one of the many accomplishments of the administration of President Aquino under the infrastructure program.

The road development project leading to the park is under the convergence of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“The better road will really help us promote our unique tourism destinations in Maasin. It’s now more convenient to go to the Forest Park,” said Southern Leyte Lone district Rep. Damian Mercado.

The initial appropriation of the project was PHP124-million. The approved budget cost was PHP119.39 million while the contract amount was PHP115.08.

The project was able to save PHP4.3million from its original budget cost.

The coverage for this infrastructure program which was implemented by the DPWH regional office and the Southern Leyte district office included the concreting of the 5.56 kilometers road with measurement of 6.1 meters.

Additional scope of work included the construction of lined canal, cross drainage, slope protection and installation of informative signs and road safety devises.

The forest park is 13 kilometers from the city center. It is 230 feet above sea level.

The park housed the only zoo in Eastern Visayas, which hosted exotic animals in the 25 hectare Maasin City Nature and Wildlife Conservation Park. The Maasin City Zoo is one of tourism hubs in the province.

The paving of the road started in January 2013. It was fully completed in September 2014.

The forest park was formerly under the jurisdiction of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) until it was transferred to the management of the City of Maasin because of the many forest fires it had experienced during 1980s.

The camping park and also hosted the 2010 National Rover Moot of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and the One Visayas Regional Boy Scouts Jamboree. (PNA)