Gov’t Of Alaminos Started Clearing Hundred Islands ‘eyesores’
ALAMINOS CITY, Pangasinan – Mayor Arthur Celeste on Saturday began dismantling illegally built structures at the Hundred Islands National Park here, saying these were “eyesores.”
“These are destroying the natural beauty of the islands. Besides, these facilities were poorly built,” said Celeste, who led the city government crew during the demolition.
The makeshift structures, which consist mostly of beach sheds rented out to tourists, were built on Quezon, Governor’s and Children’s islands, the park’s main tourist destinations.
“This is embarrassing to visitors. If I were a tourist here, I will not recommend that we return here,” Celeste said.
The defunct Philippine Tourism Authority turned over the management of the park, which consists of 123 islands, to the city government in 2005.
Celeste said that after cleaning the islands of the makeshift sheds, the city will build “more decent and presentable” structures for tourists’ use.
“I was able to secure P6 million for the construction of gazebos and pavilions on the islands,” Celeste said.
He said by December, potable water will be available on the three major islands frequented by visitors.
“And who knows, by then, we may already have a solar panel to supply electricity on Governor’s Island?” Celeste said.
Governor’s Island has a structure for overnight accommodation but its electricity is powered by a noisy generator that disturbs guests. Water supply is transported to the guest house by boats.
Celeste said he also plans to build guest houses for rent on at least 23 islands in the park.
“As to its funding, I have been asking friends. They can build a guest house worth P1.5 million and donate it to the city government. As an incentive, they can use it for free every time they visit the island,” Celeste said.
He said with improved facilities, the park can generate at least P20 million a year.
“We now have about 180,000 tourist arrivals a year and the city is earning about P5 million to P7 million from it. If we can double that, then that’s already a lot of money for the city,” Celeste said.
He said he would also create a separate bank account for the Hundred Islands so the money it generates will be plowed back for its development.
“I think this is the way to make Hundred Islands more attractive,” Celeste said.
“We are already included on the itinerary of international cruises, and cruise ships usually anchor off the islands one or two days,” he said.
Some 150 German tourists are scheduled to arrive on a cruise ship at the Quezon Island in October. Another 500 Europeans aboard a cruise ship will also visit the Hundred Islands in the same month.
Note: Not our own content. Posted by source at 4:45 pm | Saturday, July 27th, 2013