PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan — The island town of Culion, which used to be a leper colony under the American commonwealth of the Philippines, is investing PHP18-million for tourism development this year to boost its economy.
Municipal administrator Maxim Raymundo said late Wednesday that the amount was for various infrastructure-related projects designed to put the island at par with thriving municipalities due to tourism.
“If you’ve noticed, we’ve fallen behind other municipalities in the Calamianes in terms of infrastructure projects,”
he said, adding they hope to catch up based on analysis that they needed to put a premium on their tourism industry development.
Among the tourism-related infrastructure projects up for implementation this year are improvements of community pools at sea called “Paliguang Bayan,” a people’s park with view deck and recreation area, improvement of the Balanga Falls area facility, and rehabilitation of the Aguila statue among others.
“The community pools are at sea, where people frequently go to relax and enjoy. We will improve it to have more pools,” Raymundo said, adding the project would cost around PHP4 million.
The Aguila statue that is situated on an outcrop will also be rehabilitated to include the name of the town. It is Culion’s trademark, and anyone who travels to the town sees it first.
An estimated PHP6 million had also been earmarked for the construction of a people’s mark in Barangay Pulang Lupa for guests and visitors, he said. It would have a lodging area and a forest park among other development plans.
“We expect to improve this along the way because we target Pulang Lupa to be a potential amusement park,” he added.
These projects, he added, would be funded by 20 percent of their municipality’s PHP136-million annual budget.
The two projects would get the bulk of the PHP18-million budget as Raymundo did not elaborate on what other development projects would be taken up.
“The projects we have lined up give us hope that despite falling behind, we will be able to catch up, and our own tourism industry will grow,” he stated.
Culion is gaining traction as a favorite destination too, in the Calamianes islands, not only because of its turquoise blue waters and pristine environment but also because of its history as a leprosarium during the American colonization.
The leprosarium is now home to a museum and a municipal district hospital that caters to residents not only to the town but other neighboring municipalities in the area.
Another attraction in the town is the Immaculada Concepcion Church that used to be a fortress by the Augustinian missionaries against the Moro raids in 1740. It was reconstructed in 1933 and transformed into a place of worship. (PNA)
Photo courtesy of Culion municipality
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