Ako Bicol (AKB) Party List Representative Elizaldy Co on Tuesday expressed optimism about securing the necessary project fund to build a cruise ship port here.
Co, chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, underscored the importance of investing in infrastructure, such as a new port, to boost the tourism industry and generate more employment opportunities for the locals.
“Department of Public Work and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Manuel Bonoan and I had the opportunity to speak just last week. We are hoping to secure the release of the funding for the project. Our goal is to complete one of the biggest international cruise ship terminals in the eastern Pacific before the President steps down. This will cater to the growing demand for cruise tourism in the region,” he said in a statement after witnessing the arrival of the first cruise ship to dock in the city.
Co said the city needs to have a proper cruise ship port to attract more tourists and make it a premier tourist destination in the Philippines.
“The city has many natural wonders and cultural heritage sites that can attract more tourists, but the lack of proper facilities has hindered its growth. With the new port, Legazpi City can compete with other top tourist destinations in the country,” he added.
Meanwhile, Herbie Aguas, Department of Tourism in Bicol (DOT-5) regional director, said Co’s initiative will be a “big help” in promoting the tourism industry in the region after the Hanseatic Nature of shipping company Hapag-Lloyd made the city its first port of call under its Philippine expedition.
“I talked to the captain of the cruise ship and they found it a little bit hard to dock but in all, they are very much willing to come back and explore Bicol,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.
The cruise ship with 180 European tourists and 167 crew members arrived last April 30, and visited the Mayon Volcano and the beach of Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte. (PNA)