Nagtabon beach (File photo)

3rd District Rep. Gil Acosta Jr. said the tourism sector in Puerto Princesa City, the province’s economic hub, needs a major boost as tourist destinations in the province of Palawan gradually reopen amidst the continuing COVID-19 pandemic,

Acosta said there is a need to accelerate the city’s infrastructure and tourism development since its economy is inextricably linked to the province’s several key tourist spots.

“The COVID-19 will end. In Palawan, that is tourism. As you could see, the economy of Puerto Princesa City is very closely related to the economy of the other tourism hotspots in the province. The plan is for the whole province to become the tourism gem not only in the Philippines but of Southeast Asia and we have to open our connections,” Acosta said.

He said that as a member of the BIMP-EAGA, Puerto Princesa City should grow other sectors, including agriculture, in order to diversify its economy.

He also emphasized the city’s western shore, which is gradually developing beach destinations.

“It is a fact that PPC is the center piece of the islands of Palawan. Dito ang economic power at dito ang sentro. Kilala na ang Puerto as to underground but we have to develop other sides dahil kung hindi, kakainin tayo ng ating karatig-bayan. We have develop the western coast,” he said.

“The mayor is doing good, mayroon tayong Balayong Park. But one of the lessons na sinabi sa akin, pagbaba ng turista ay nagtatanong kung saan ang beach kasi kapag taga-labas ka at sinabing Puerto it’s the beach, ang layo eh,” Acosta added.

Acosta also highlighted that infrastructure development is critical to the 3rd District’s economic growth.

As part of the province’s ambition to link with neighboring countries, the provincial administration has currently built many infrastructure projects, including Buliluyan Port, RoRo Ports in San Fernando, and Borac in Coron.

He went on to say that the city of Puerto Princesa should build roads and sewage treatment facilities.

“As to the dream, we have tourism here in PPC that we have to connect because we have to plan the future na ang karatig Port Barton the north western part ay magbo-boom, we have to connect Caruray via New Panggangan and Sabang,” he said.

“We have to connect bridges and bypass roads here in the city, we cannot expand the highways because ang dami ng matatamaan. Second is the mechanize agriculture in the city. We have to develop our treatment plants, we have to fix the sewerage treatment plan na sustainable like El Nido,” he added.