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PIA Press Release

P29-B eyed for upgrade to Western Visayas infrastructures - Sec. Durano

by T. Villavert

Iloilo City (25 October) -- The national government is investing P29 billion in Western Visayas to upgrade its various infrastructure projects to bolster the region's tourism industry, Tourism Secretary Ace Durano said today at the Western Visayas Tourism Assembly at the Sarabia Manor Hotel, this city.

Secretary Durano said that Western Visayas as one of the country's tourism cluster under the Central Philippines Super regions can now be pushed internationally, stressing that one of the legacies of the Arroyo administration is making Region VI a pillar in the country's tourism industry.

DOT Secretary Ace Durano stresses that the Western Visayas' natural, cultural attributes complemented with the P29 Billion infrastructures boost the region's tourism industry, during yesterday's Western Visayas Tourism Assembly at Sarabia Manor, Iloilo City. (PIA 6)

It may be recalled that during the SONA of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Central Philippines super region was declared as the tourism hub of the country. Central Philippines super region comprises Regions V (Bicol Region), VI (Western Visayas), VII (Central Visayas) and VIII, plus the provinces of Palawan and Romblon.

The Tourism Secretary said that Central Philippines is host to 51 weekly international flights. These include 5 flights to Japan; 16 to South Korea; 2- Taiwan; 14- Hongkong; 12- Singapore and two flights to Malaysia.

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the Western Visayas Tourism Assembly and Travel Mart at SM City, are Regional Development Council Chair and Antique Governor Sally Perez (2nd from right) and Iloilo City Councilor Merci Drilon-Garcia (2nd from left) assisted by Capiz Vice Governor Victor Tangco (extreme left) and Iloilo City Councilor Joe Espinosa III. (PIA 6)

"Seven out of ten most visited beaches in the country are located in Central Philippines, and the top visited beach is here in Western Visayas ," Secretary Durano said.

Leaders have it all. Sharing dreams for sustaining efforts and putting ideas into action are Tourism Undersecretary Oscar Palabyab (left), Antique Governor and Regional Development Council 6 Chair Sally Perez (center and DOT regional director Edwin Trompeta. (PIA 6)

He further said that the once the construction of the new Iloilo Airport is completed in year 2007, the DOT "is really looking forward to this, because with this new airport we can already package and aggressively promote this part of the country to our foreign tour operators".

Tourism Undersecretary Oscar Palabyab cites the important role of Western Visayas in bringing out the best of the best in festivals and other tourist attractions, during the opening ceremony of the Western Visayas Assembly in Iloilo City. (PIA 6)

"Western Visayas is a tourism cluster by itself, it can now really be pushed internationally, and I can say with confidence that this region of the Central Philippines as the country's tourism cluster is boosted by its natural, cultural attributes complemented with good infrastructures," the tourism secretary concluded. (PIA) [top]

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