The City government has classified some 120 hectares of agricultural lands located on its west coast into a “tourism resort and residential zone”, a move that it hopes will pave the way for the area’s development as a prime tourist attraction.
The measure, which will take effect after mandatory publication, covers previous agricultural areas in the barangays of Napsan, Bagong Bayan, Simpocan, Bacungan, and Cabayugan. Most of the land to be affected by the conversion is presently owned by giant property developer SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SM Prime).
Councilor Victor Oliveros, the author of the conversion ordinance and chair of the land estates committee, said the reclassification aims to maximize the tourism potential of the barangays to bring economic gains to residents who are mostly farmers and vegetable producers.
“Magtatayo ng mga resorts doon. Malaking bagay ito para sa ating mga kababayan. Ang mga tao na nakatira doon ay doon na rin mismo mag-ma-market ng kanilang mga produkto tulad ng gulay at iba pa,” he said.
Oliveros said the land reclassification is being awaited by SM Prime so it could start developing its resort and housing projects.
He said SM Prime has already signified its intention to develop its property on the west coast, which is known for its white sandy beach coves and lush environment.
“Nakikita natin dyan na magkakaroon ng development kung reclassified na as tourism resort/residential zone. Alam naman natin ang mga tourism potentials ng mga lugar na ito. Sila ay magiging panibagong attraction dito sa lungsod,” he said.
Oliveros said the approval of the reclassification ordinance in the City Council is one of the city’s concrete steps in developing the five barangays to facilitate the entry of tourism and trade and commerce.
He said although the city government had earlier planned to develop the Napsan area into a tourism destination, it will be hard since funds are really limited.
“Trade at business kasi ng mga private sectors ang bumubuhay sa economy, hindi kaya yan gawin ng gobyerno kundi ang private sector yung magpapalago sa lokal na ekonomiya, magbibigay ng trabaho, at oportunidad para sa mga tao,” he said.
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