A Japanese firm has presented a proposal to Puerto Princesa City to put up a convention center at the city government’s environmental estate in Barangay Sta. Lucia, Mayor Lucilo R. Bayron said.

Bayron bared during Monday’s flag raising ceremony that, after several online talks, Japanese company officials came to town last week to check out the area and meet with city government officials to manifest their interest in investing in the city.

“Nagkaroon tayo ng series of zoom meetings with a Japanese firm, and last week nga ay personal na silang pumunta dito para makipag-usap,” he said.

City Administrator Atty. Arnel Pedrosa also disclosed that the Japanese firm plans to bring in projects at the idle environmental center.

“Maglalagay sila ng project, at no cost siguro yan to the city government kung ganoon ang magiging setup. Perhaps ito ay isang public private partnership or joint venture,” Pedrosa said.

“Itong ating environmental estate, i-oopen sya for investment dahil matagal nang nakatiwangwang yan. Walang development gaano so para mailabas naman sa población area yung development ay siguro dapat magkaroon din sa labas ng mga structures na pwedeng pagkakitaan ng gobyerno,” he added.

He further disclosed that the city government is open to investment proposals from other firms as well, noting that the yet-unnamed Japanese firm came a step closer as it went to visit the city for further discussions.

He also said that once the convention center is built, other investments will surely follow that will bring economic development to the city.

If ever, ang plano ay isang 30,000 seating capacity na convention center ang itatayo. Pero ito ay hindi lang limited doon sa mga Japanese investors kung sakali. Open din naman ang city government. Actually, may mga nauna pang nag-offer dyan although siguro, hindi pa nila na-present yung kanilang proposal. May Chinese, may Korean, pero ang gusto kasi ni mayor yung nagpapakita talaga dito at pumupunta para magpahayag ng interest at ayun nga, pumunta yung isang Japanese firm at nag-propose na mag-invest dyan sa environmental estate,” Pedrosa explained.

“At kapag naitayo na yung convention center, siyempre to follow na yung iba pang negosyo dyan like hotel, restaurant at mga megastructure sya na pwedeng mag-accommodate ng tourists, mga professionals na mag-a-undergo ng continuing professional development and education,” he added.

The 1,072-hectare environmental estate was made a government reservation so that it could become a hub for ecotourism in the city. This would help the economy grow and protect the environment at the same time.

The area is, however, idle at the moment and is prone to squatting.

“At present, wala nang aktibidad doon. Minsan nga may mga gustong pumasok para mag-squat pero may bakod naman yun to show na yung area ay secured at hindi welcome ang sinuman na gustong pumasok dyan,” Pedrosa said.

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