The city government has invited the SM Group to invest in a convention center with space for 30,000 people at the environmental estate in Barangay Sta. Lucia.

Mayor Lucilo Bayron said Tuesday that if the conglomerate accepts his invitation, the venture will assist Puerto Princesa achieve its goal of becoming a world-class convention center area in the Philippines.

The convention center they are considering will, according to him, have everything one would envisage from an international purpose-built venue situated amidst a pristine playground of nature.

“Nag-present ako ng investment opportunities [na meron] sa Puerto Princesa, actually, ini-encourage ko sila na sila ang magtayo noong convention center natin na 30,000 capacity. Sabi ko kasi, may vision tayo na gawing convention center ang Puerto Princesa ng Pilipinas,” he said.

“Kasi walang convention center na nakaka-accommodate ng maraming delegates dahil yong biggest convention center yong kanila sa SMX na hanggang 15,000 lang yata,” he added.

According to Bayron, his presentation to 11 top executive of the SM Group included a request to build hotels with 30,000 rooms to house guests who only needed to walk to the convention center.

Night time economy
Other investors, according to Bayron, will be invited to invest in specialty restaurants, pubs and bars with live music, and nightlife amenities, where convention delegates can “chill” without leaving St. Lucia.

“Ang sabi ko lang dapat walang prostitution—dapat walkable yon from the hotels. Tapos doon sa labas, periphery, sa malayo ay mga destinations na puwedeng i-develop,” he said.

He said he already had initial talks with the management of the Zoobic Safari forest adventure park to set up “such system” near the environmental estate.

Representatives of the adventure park had visited the city previously, he said, and has even thought of the name “Zoowahig Safari” for the future park as the area being eyed is part of Iwahig.

“Yon yong prinisent ko sa SM. Sabi ko sa Quito, puwede rin. Maraming businesses kasi ang SM Group, mga 11 ang kausap ko. Karamihan mga head, mga nagde-decide talaga. Ang pinaka kausap ko si Jeffrey Lim, executive director at president ng SM Prime Holdings,” he said.

“But siyempre hindi naman sila bigla biglang mag-i-invest dahil malaking pera, ang sabi ko sa kanila, nire-recognize natin yong investment nila sa Puerto Princesa. Malaki ang investment nila dito, at sabi ko kaya kayo nag-i-invest sa Puerto Princesa, naniniwala kayo sa kanyang potential,” he added.

Bayron stated that the investment, which will be split between the city government and the future private partner, is worth billions of pesos, and if SM Group agrees, Puerto Princesa will be “made.”

New city
Bayron further said that the objective is to turn the Sta. Lucia environmental estate into a “new city” with ideal living conditions, including traffic studies, drainage, and underground cables for power and communication utilities.

He explained that the plan is to use cable cars to connect Sta. Lucia to Quito in the downtown area, where they hope to build hotels and other amenities near the cruise port.

“Meron akong na presentahan noon na Japanese na pumunta dito na interesado. Noong sinabi ko na pag nadevelop ang environmental estate, puwede kung ibigay ang Quito kasi kailangan may mga hotels, at ikakabit namin yong dalawa ng cable cars,” he said.

About Post Author

Previous articleFormer OFW opens Master Garage Palawan for car maintenance, repair needs
Next articleOrientation at plant visit, isinagawa para sa mga bagong BOD members ng PALECO
has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.