The people of South Cotabato expects to see more tourism-related infrastructure projects sprouting next year particularly in the upper valley area, as the province pushes for its expansion not only due to the influx of domestic and foreign tourists but also of the increasing investments for the past years.
Speaking during her State of the Province Address (SOPA) last August 11, Governor Daisy Avance Fuentes disclosed she is looking forward to finish tourism-infra projects in Lake Sebu, T’boli, Tupi, Tampakan and Koronadal City.
“Dapat next year, hindi lang tapos ang 7-Falls Circumferential Road, dapat operational na ang Lake Lahit Tourism Facility, dapat matapos natin ang development ng 7-Falls katulad ng Cable Cars , Canopy Walking at Lakeshore Boulevard sa Main Lake, Small-scale mining leg ng T’boli,Fruit Park ng Tupi, at Bio-diversity Corridor ng Tampakan-Tupi,” Governor Fuentes announced.
She added that next year, “ang PROTECH Center ay magkakamukha na at operational daily, Naumpisahan na natin ngayon dapat ipagpatuloy next year.”
Fuentes revealed she took note of the advice of DOT 12 Regional Director Nelly Nita Dillera, who has a long stint in DTI that ended as Provincial Director in Sultan Kudarat, to expect the influx of “artistically and culturally-inclined tourists” in the province.
That is the reason why she proposed for such expansion, because “these kind of tourists will demand better accommodations, better quality of service, and a more authentic cultural environment.”
Parallel to the expansion plans of the province is the reported increase in capital growth from the new total value of capitalization which amounted to more than P920 million from MSMEs, which is higher compared than the previous year, while gross sales of renewed business establishments amounted to more than P 30 billion.
The Governor further disclosed that in 2013 more than 11,000 new and renewed businesses were recorded that comes from a wide range of sectors; from hotels, resorts and tourism establishments; to land development such as subdivision development and leasing dwellings; to restaurants and to other recreational facilities.
Employment rate likewise is at peak at 97.1percent, the Governor reported, with labor participation rate of 61.8% as of October 2013 based from NSO data, which means that public-private sectors investments have provided opportunities for employment.
The Governor also hopes that with the operation of the biggest Solar Power Plant in Surallah sometime this year, will make big impact in the economy and help solve the energy crisis besetting the province.