By Azer N. Parrocha
MANILA, July 14 (PNA) – The provincial government of Palawan has earmarked about Php 2.07 billion for tourism development in the province this year, an official said on Tuesday.
Department of Tourism (DOT) Region IV-B director Atty. Minerva Morada , in a press conference, said the amount would be used for over 30 convergence projects.
Morada said that at present, three road infrastructure projects costing Php 196.75 million had been completed and set to be turned over in the municipalities of Narra, Taytay, and San Vicente.
Meanwhile, five more road infrastructure projects are scheduled for completion in Quezon, San Vicente, and Busuanga while two technical Bottom-up Budgeting (BuB) projects are ongoing in Brooke’s Point and San Vicente.
These are only some of the many plans the provincial government has to help the province strengthen the its positioning as a top tourist destination and at the same time boost its investment environment.
Palawan Gov. Jose Chaves Alvarez said that the province would soon be spearheading an aggressive campaign, dubbed as Palawan: World’s Best Island Tourism and Investment Expo, to promote investments in the province.
The Tourism and Investment Expo is an event expected to showcase the province’s attractions, business opportunities, and gastronomic delights in three components — the Palawan Investment Forum (July 28), Palawan Food Fair (July 30 to 31), and the Palawan Tourism and Trade Fair (Aug. 7 to 9).
The Expo is a collaboration effort among the provincial government of Palawan, the Palawan Tourism Council, Department of Tourism (DOT), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the University of Asia and the Pacific (UAP).
“We believe that the only way for which we can address poverty is by inviting companies to set up businesses in the provinces in order to generate employment and income opportunities for the Palawanos,” Alvarez said.
To date, Alvarez said that from the start of his term in 2013 until June this year, the province has obtained an about Php 2.3 billion in private investments.
However, he said that this was “not enough” and stressed that the province needed to generate more investments to fast-track its economic development.
“In Palawan, we see a very strong support from provincial government and private sector,” Morada said, stressing how the province has transitioned from tourism promotion to pursuing more investments opportunities.
“I see no reason why Palawan cannot fulfill its dream of the governor to see Palawan as the premier destination in the whole country and maintain its enviable status in the international tourism map,” she added. (PNA)