Bohol Cortes Town
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The Municipality of Cortes in the province of Bohol lies northeast of the City of Tagbilaran about 10 kilometers away; more or less about 15 minutes travel time. Its nearest neighbor along the national highway, opposite that of the Tagbilaran side, is the town of Maribojoc.
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Located high up on a plateau, the town occupies a total land area of 4,377 hectares with a population of 14,586 people according to the 2007 census. It is at present considered as a 5th class municipality.
Belonging to the 1st Congressional District of Bohol, the town is politically subdivided into 14 barangays, to wit: De la Paz, Fatima, Loreto, Lourdes, Malayo Norte, Malayo Sur, Montserrat, New Lourdes, Patrocinio, Poblacion, Rosario, Salvador, San Roque and Upper de la Paz.
Cortes is the site of the sprawling southern Industrial Projects and its subsidiary, Rolling Mills which produces colored and non-colored galvanized iron for roofing. The Rolling Mills is situated high up on a plateau overlooking the Abatan River.
The town is also known for handmade paper products chosen now as the town’s priority product under the Department of Trade and Industry’s One Town, One Product (OTOP) Program. Aside from the manufacturing and handicraft industries, the people of Cortes are also into agribusiness.
Sand taken from the Abatan River, and which usually finds its way to construction sites in Tagbilaran City, is likewise another source of income for the people of Cortes. Flat-bottomed boats made of marine plywood carry the sand which has to be dug up from the river bed with waist high waters - a back-breaking work for those involved.
The Local Government Unit of Cortes with Mayor Jasmin Balistoy in the lead is now into the development of its God-given assets for tourism purposes. One major project is the development of the docking port, envisioned to be the starting point of the Abatan River Cruise – another project in the offing.
The Abatan River flows thru five towns thus these towns will be benefited if the Abatan River Cruise will be in full swing. Livelihood projects can then be established promoting each of the town’s special products under the OTOP program.
The LGU are also eyeing some sites for future development such as the Bilibili Spring, Larga Vista, Municipal Hall and more in an effort to make the town of Cortes attractive to tourists.
At present, the municipality is on a pink-painting spree! Yes, public school buildings, trees in the plaza, the garbage compactor, the market stalls and others beside have all been painted pink. This is said to commemorate cancer awareness yet also definitely to establish a pink identity for the town.
Other projects include the establishment of day care centers in each of the town’s 14 barangays. Health stations will also be constructed. The nine sources of water supply are now installed with automatic chlorinator injection system to insure the health of residents. A big water reservoir will also be constructed in barangay De la Paz.
With concerted efforts and with the help and cooperation of all inhabitants, the vision of a prosperous town is not far off in Cortes town. People there are literate and English speaking - what with English as the medium of instruction in all schools in the town starting from the primary grades. The people also speak Visayan and Filipino.
Deeply religious, the people of Cortes in majority are Roman Catholics. They celebrate the town fiesta every 16th of January in honor of the holy child Jesus, the Sto. Niño - and this with much flowing drinks, delicious food, fanfare and rejoicing!