Feature: Not everything about El Nino is bad news
Tacloban City (February 7) -- What others consider as adversity may actually be an opportunity for others.
For the tourism sector, the long dry summer this year brought about by the El Niņo phenomenon will be good for tourism as more Filipinos head for either the beach or the cool mountainside.
On the other hand, the North Luzon Railways Corporation officials would take advantage of the dry season to hasten work on the rail project to beat the 2011 deadline to complete its Caloocan to Bulacan line.
The Department of Tourism expects that local tourist will rush to Boracay, Batangas, Bohol, Palawan and other coastlines and beaches which the country is known for, during the long dry summer.
As a result of the global economic recovery, DOT also expects more foreign tourists this year.
Plus, there are lots of packages available and discounted airline fares that give tourists more options to choose from.
Meanwhile, Mr. Zoilo Andin Jr., president and chief executive officer of the North Luzon Railways Corp., said the lack of rain would be good for the project, especially because soil along sections of the NorthRail in flood-prone Bulacan would be dry and easier to manage.
This condition, he said, would help contractors build stronger foundations for railway and related facilities.
He said the project's Section 1 that will run from Caloocan City to the City of Malolos in Bulacan, is now 20-percent done since NorthRail resumed construction in December last year after it was suspended in 2008.
Under NorthRail's Phase 1, a railway line built along the old tracks of the Philippine National Railways will run from Caloocan to the Clark Freeport in Pampanga.
NorthRail officials said the Caloocan to Clark line is expected to be completed in the middle of 2012.
Upon completion, NorthRail which is part of President Arroyo's Luzon Urban Beltway Super Region, is expected to cut travel time from Metro Manila to Central Luzon by 30 minutes to an hour. (PIA 8) [top]