ALAMINOS CITY, Pangasinan – The realization of the put up of an international airport in the city, the completion of a seaport in nearby Sual town and the construction of a state-of-the-art railway system from Metro Manila to Western Pangasinan will contribute in improving the business climate in the area which would enhance the local tourism industry and uplift the agriculture and fisheries sector, Jerry Noel F. Mateo, Regional governor of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) in the Ilocos Region, said here recently.
Mateo said that eastern Pangasinan is currently benefiting from the construction of the 88-kilometer Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway (TPLEX) and its upcoming completion will definitely result to the sprouting of businesses that would generate more employment opportunities for people within the towns traversed by the new highway.
“We need the airport, seaport and the proposed railway system in order to improve the business climate in western Pangasinan. We should be able to reduce the travel time to our place by at least two to three hours in order to spur the growth of our local tourism industry,” Mateo stressed.
The PCCI Region I Governor underscored the fact that even without the aforesaid transport system, tourism arrivals in Alaminos city significantly improved over the past several months because of the enormous influx of foreign and domestic visitors wanting to visit the Hundred Islands National Park among other scenic tourist spots in western Pangasinan such as the white sand beaches in Bolinao among other scenic tourist spots.
According to him, the airport, seaport and railway system will be complimentary and will result to improved travel time from Metro Manila up to the different parts of western Pangasinan which will surely entice more visitors in the different destinations outside Manila thereby translating to a robust business climate in the area.
Mateo revealed government already acquired the lands for the proposed international airport and it was also able to build the access roads leading to the same but the present administration was not able to sustain the allocation of funds over the past three years in order to realize the ambitious project of the previous administration.
On the other hand, Mateo explained the operation of the seaport in Sual will not be sustainable without the realization of the proposed railway system because investors will be looking for a better transport system that will move their products from the seaport to the economic zones in nearby Clark in Pampanga and Laguna within the Calamaba-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon (CALABARZON) where most of the economic zones are located.
The PCCI Region I official cited Sual is also being converted into an energy city following the construction of another 600-megawatt coal-fired power plant which will be in addition to the existing 1,200-megawatt power plant in the locality, thus, businesses are guaranteed sufficient power supply for their sustained and cheap operations.
By Dexter A. See