SOX’s Agri Products, Nature Destinations Showcased in Manila

ATI RTC XII Assistant Director Alicia Rose Nebreja (third from left) joins former DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo (fifth from left) in the unveiling of the locally woven “Treasures of SOX” signage to formally open the expo. (photo by Clemente Gabion)

MAKATI CITY, Metro Manila— The Department of Tourism (DOT) XII recently teamed up with Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) Regional Training Center (RTC) XII in promoting the wonders of SOCCSKSARGEN in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Dubbed as the “Treasures of SOX: A Travel and Trade Expo,” the three-day event aimed to encourage people from the Metro to discover what SOCCSKSARGEN, or “Sox”, can offer when it comes to tourism.

Aside from their wide array of tourist destinations, the event also boasted the abundance of their agricultural products. In her opening remarks, DOT XII Regional Director Maria Rica Bueno stressed, “We have a lot, and we are proud to be the food basket of the Philippines. When we talk about food security, we have so much to offer. We are blessed.”

Likewise, Bueno assured the visitors about the peace and order in the region vis-à-vis the declaration of Martial Law. This was furthered by then DOT secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo, "Every time I go out of the country, I always say 'please don't forget visit Mindanao, because it's very safe there and we have everything that the tourists would want to see.’”

One of the booths featured in the event was that of the Institute’s training center in Region XII. Led by assistant director Alicia Rose Nebreja, RTC XII showcased local products such as honey, coffee, turmeric powder, stevia, beauty soaps, and beads from their partner farmers and rural improvement clubs.

Moreover, the nine local government units of South Cotabato, Saranggani, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, General Santos, Koronadal, Takurong, Kidapawan, and Cotabato City gave their all-out support in promoting their region as the next tourist destination. Other convergence partners that made the event possible were the Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Philippine Information Agency, and the Department of Labor and Employment.

The expo was held on May 4-6, 2018 at the Glorietta Activity Center in this city.