DOT EXEC: MORE ROAD NETWORKS NEEDED IN WEST VISAYAS
BACOLOD CITY — More road networks should be established in Western Visayas to boost the region’s tourism industry, a Department of Tourism (DOT) official has said.
DOT-6 Regional Director Helen Catalbas said in a statement on Tuesday there were 168 proposed tourism road projects in Western Visayas last year.
Of which, 79 projects totaling PHP2.48 billion were included in the 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA). A total of PHP520 million worth of projects are in Negros Occidental, including one amounting to PHP90 million in Bacolod City.
“These road projects make more tourism destinations accessible to tourists and provide livelihood in the community,” Catalbas said.
As tourism facilities begin to emerge with the influx of tourists, the DOT has recognized that strong road networks often lead to better economy, she added.
Catalbas said air, land and sea connectivity is one of the competitive advantages of Western Visayas, adding that micro, small and medium enterprises are also getting a boost from investments pouring in.
“The strengthened linkage of Western Visayas to more major hubs in the Philippines made the region accessible to more domestic and foreign tourists,” she added.
In 2017, tourist arrivals in Western Visayas reached 5.8 million, with tourism receipts, or amount of spending, worth PHP128.45 billion.
This coming Jan. 29, the DOT-Department of Public Works and Highways Convergence Program on Tourism Road Infrastructure Projects (TRIP) will hold a regional consultative workshop in Iloilo City.
During the activity, the previous year’s accomplishments and updates on pending and upcoming projects will be presented.
For 2019, there are 142 proposed road projects from different legislative districts in the region.
In Negros Occidental alone, there are 11 projects funded under the last year’s GAA and will be included in the assessment.
These are comprised mostly of construction, rehabilitation and upgrading of roads in the cities of Talisay, Cadiz, Sagay, Kabankalan and Sipalay, and town of Binalbagan with an initial appropriation of PHP420 million. (PNA)
Photo from Iloilo Metropolitan Times