Business' plan for Mactan
N PUSHING for positive change in Mactan, local business leaders have drafted a 10-point plan to maximize the island's potential as a tourist hub and a location for foreign investments.
The agenda proposes the designation of half of Mactan Island as a "genuine tourism zone" to be operated by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza).
Roberto Go, Mactan Island Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI) board member, said this can be made possible by declaring the area as a tourism economic zone under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza).
In a press conference yesterday, MICCI said the 10-point agenda it has outlined is "realistic" and can be done "within a year."
"Mactan's potential is under-exploited," said Dondi Joseph, president of the Cebu Business Club.
Joseph, who attended yesterday's conference in support of MICCI's agenda, said Mactan Island—as a tourism product—is "not strong enough" as it does not offer much aside from beach resorts.
The chamber has also included in the agenda the improvement of public roads in the island, as well as the creation of a tourist boulevard.
The businessmen have requested for the widening of at least 20 kilometers of road between Barangay Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova.
A document prepared by the MICCI stated that if the request will remain unheeded, Mactan businessmen will request for tax credits to help improve sections of the road through an adopt-a-kilometer program.
"Tourism can't grow with bad roads," Joseph said, adding that other pressing concerns that the group wants to address also include garbage and squatter problems.
The MICCI is also asking four government agencies to take part in a forum the chamber has organized to see how government can help in addressing current concerns of the island's business industry.
"It is high time to ask the government what (it can) do (for) Mactan," said Jun Monzon, MICCI secretary general.
The Mactan Development Forum, which is slated on June 26, will feature representatives from the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Peza.
The government agencies will be asked to present possible projects that can be undertaken in Mactan Island, which encompasses Lapu-Lapu City and the town of Cordova.
The MICCI plans to ask government representatives to sign a "protocol of cooperation" to establish their partnership with the business and industry sectors in the island.
"Once we win the support of the government agencies, (things) will start moving forward," said Joseph.
Monzon said that for a long time, not a single tourism infrastructure was implemented in Mactan.
The organization of the development forum is also positioned to create a venue for dialogue between the local government and the private sector to ensure that investors will not be disappointed, said Joseph.
"That is why (the first forum) is called a gateway for change," he said. (DME)
Courtesy from: Land Asia Institute Philippines