by ODON S. BANDIOLA
Aklan Gov. Florencio T. Miraflores told the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP), in Kalibo, Aklan that his first three years as the come backing provincial chief executive of Aklan will concentrate on attracting investments from the private sector.
In his message delivered during the inaugural session on the SP on July 3, Miraflores informed the members of the provincial legislative body that the newly elected Aklan Congressman Teodorico T. Haresco, Jr. with his international connections can play an important role in the efforts to have foreign capital come in for the province’s agricultural modernization and tourism developments.
Governor Miraflores cited the multi-million peso investments now being laid in the Province of Aklan such as the on-going expansion of the Caticlan airport into international standards by the San Miguel Corporation, Megaworld’s entry to Boracay which will be constructing more hotel rooms, Petro Energy Corporation 50 Megawatt Wind Power Project in Barangay Pawa, Nabas and the Singaporean company’s dredging project of 50 million cubic meters at the mouth of the Aklan River.
The Department of Trade and Industry Aklan Provincial office reported some P452 million inbound investments to Aklan in 2012.
Miraflores also cited public sector investments already in place for implementation in the Province, very specifically in infrastructure development, like the Kalibo International Airport expansion, the Pook Eco-Tourism Development Project, the Tangalan-Ibajay Coastal Road, Kalibo- Numancia parallel bridge to the existing one, the widening of the national roads, and the Kalibo Circumferential Road.
He is likewise eyeing for the general tax revision of real properties not in the agricultural lands but in the commercial areas to maximize collections of real property taxes due from commercial and industrial zones.
The 50 megawatt wind power project in Nabas is a US$125 million power generation project which will soon be started with target date of completion in 2014. Its pre-development phase started late February 2011 and ended in February 2013, when the wind power characteristics were studied.
The development phase started with the construction of the road network from Barangay Unidos to Pawa early this year.
“Once the wind mills start to grind and rotate, Nabas town can have another tourist attraction”, Miraflores pointed out.
Strong Prov’l. Tourism
Council & Investment Board
In her response to the message of Gov. Florencio T. Miraflores during the inaugural session of the SP on July 3, Vice Gov. Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo batted for a stronger Aklan Provincial Tourism development Council and the Aklan Provincial Investment Board.
Quimpo said the present Aklan Provincial Tourism Development Council was constituted and activated not in accordance with the letter of the Tourism Code of Aklan, hence it has to be reviewed.
The Vice governor also stressed that the Aklan Investment Incentive Code where its most important provision is the creation of the Aklan Provincial investment Board has yet to be implemented.
Quimpo elaborated that the tourism council must create an office managed by a professional staff whose primary task is to develop a Master Tourism Development Plan for Aklan and to formulate policies and strategies to ensure the strict implementation of the development plan and regulate the growth of the province’s tourism industry for sustainable development.
The SP regular presiding officer also stressed that the operationalization of the Aklan Provincial Investment Board is in order in the area of investment and trade promotion that will promote and regulate the investments in Aklan by establishing a One-Stop-Shop to release information on priority investment areas, investment potentials and investment incentives.
Quimpo assured Miraflores of the unwavering support to his plans and programs through legislative enactments. However, she asked the governor to implement to the letter whatever enactments the SP has promulgated. /MP