Widening the 3.5-kilometer road that stretches throughout the “tourism mile” portion of Rizal Avenue is part of the city government’s “robust plans” for the area in 2020 in a bid to maximize its contribution to the local economy.
Mayor Lucilo Bayron said Rizal Avenue from Junction 1 to Abrea Road will undergo road-widening to pave the way for other project plans such as Batak-inspired cultural displays, more chains of restaurants, games and amusement center, and winery, to name a few.
“We are doing our best to be business-friendly. Hindi po kami nanghihingi ng kahit anong donations from the business establishments. Kapag may nanghingi sa inyo, you tell us, kasi we have expressly told everybody not to ask for anything,” Bayron said.
City Ordinance 919 passed by the City Council guarantees new business establishments of a five-year tax holiday scheme which is expected to lure domestic and foreign investors.
“We are providing incentives for tourism-related establishments. This will form the night-time economy of the City of Puerto Princesa,” he added.
Earlier this year, the Tourism Mile project was criticized online for being a “ghost town” because of the recently imposed “no parking policy” along the city’s major roads.
City councilor Matthew Mendoza, chairman of Committee on Tourism, in an earlier statement, said that the plans are still well underway, but certain problems pointed out by some Facebook netizens were being considered in its future development.
“Suggested one-lane parking along the Tourism Mile for the other areas like the public market and other areas. The Sanggunian is crafting an ordinance for public parking alternatives. Let’s all work together for the good of the community,” Mendoza said.
The Tourism Mile project began late in 2017 when the city’s international airport was transferred to Barangay San Miguel which prompted the city government to intervene on the economic loss suffered by some of the renowned business establishments.