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Govít allocates P9B for airports, road projects in Palawan PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 October 2006

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Oct. 11 (PNA) - A total of P9.2 billion fund has been approved by the national government for implementation of airport and road network projects in Palawan under the super regions scheme mentioned by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her state of the nation address last July.

This was announced by Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano during the Road Show Presentation on Central Philippines Projects which was attended by Palawan government officials, tourism stakeholders and businessmen and considered to be the biggest gathering held at the Legend Hotel here Wednesday morning.

The airport projects Durano mentioned are the upgrading and expansion of the existing Puerto Princesa airport of international standard with a cost of P3.117 billion, Busuanga Airport Development Project Phase II (P1.037 billion) and San Vicente airport and Balabac airport with an allocation of P303 million each.

The road projects, on the other hand, are the Sto. Niño road (P.286-B), Roxas-Taytay road (P.982-B), Abo-abo-Bataraza-Rio Tuba road (P.880-B) and other El Nido-Bataraza road network.

”All the airport and road projects will be funded by the national government revenues generated by tax reforms and other government agencies,” the Tourism chief said.

"It will start early 2007 and its target completion is in 2009 or early 2010,” he added.

Durano assured the projects have budgetary support, but added, “it is not a one-time activity, but this is continuing.”

Durano praised the “natural wonders” of Palawan and its importance to tourism development being a member of Central Philippines, but he added it lacks infrastructure projects to maximize its potentials.

He described Palawan as a “tropical paradise” and has been a “poster” destination that draws the attention of foreign tourists worldwide.

Central Philippines, which is also composed of Regions V, VI, VII and VIII and the provinces of Romblon and Camiguin and the island of Siargao, is being considered to become the premier destination not only in the country, but in the whole of Asia.

Durano further said that this super region has 51 weekly flights with an average capacity seat of 11,045 from major tourist markets South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

Seven out of the 10 most visited beaches in the country are in the Central Philippines, namely: Cebu, Boracay, Negros Occidental, Bicol, Samar, Palawan and Romblon.

Visitors to these areas totaled 4.23 million or 28 percent of the total travelers in 2005, of which 58 percent were foreign tourists, Durano cited.

Meanwhile, in their message during Wednesday's event, Governor Joel T. Reyes and Mayor Edward Hagedorn warmly welcomed Durano and both expressed gratitude to the planned super regions of President Arroyo, as they said develoment projects would be beneficial to Puerto Princesa City and Palawan in attracting more tourists.

”These infra projects need immmediate attention because the city is facing a tremendous disease - AIDS - Acute Infrastructure Deficiency Syndrome,” Hagedorn said in jest. The mayor, incidentally, will celebrate his 60th birthday on October 12.

Source: - by Alex Villanueva Jr.


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