PANTABANGAN, Nueva Ecija – Cabinet Sec. Karlo Alexei Nograles and National Irrigation Administration chief Ricardo Visaya led the inauguration and blessing of the agency’s first owned hotel, the NIA-Pantabangan Lake Resort Hotel, atop the mammoth dam in Bgy. Fatima here on Thursday.
The newly-opened NIA-Pantabangan Lake Resort Hotel, formerly called Pantabangan Guesthouse, was renovated at an initial cost of P40-million and will be managed by the Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation Systems, headed by Engr. Rosalinda B. Bote.
In his speech, guest of honor Nograles said it was a sweet victory for NIA-UPRIIS to be able to regain anew possession and control of the said hotel after its operation was abandoned by a Korean operator back in 2016.
“Malaking tagumpay ito para sa ating lahat na mabawi natin at maiuwi muli sa NIA ang ating resort at hotel. Kaya’t palakpakan natin ang ating tagumpay. This is, of course, a significant milestone for NIA and UPRIIS, besides getting back the management of the guesthouse, the building and its accompanying structures that have also been renovated and modernized, it is in line with the four-point agenda of our Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya,” said Nograles, a lawyer and a former three-term Davao City congressman, who also sits as chair of the NIA Board of Directors.
For his part, Visaya lauded Bote and her predecessor Engr. Florentino R. David, the erstwhile UPRIIS manager, for initiating the takeover and makeover of the said guesthouse.
The NIA chief said this transformation of the old guesthouse building forms part of his agenda to convert all dam reservoirs and its facilities into instant tourism spots for income-generation purposes.
“We have to optimize the utilization of our dam facilities, iyung hindi lang pang-irrigation, meron ding pang-power o kaya pang-renewable energy,” the retired general said.