By Imelda R. Castro, PIA, Ilocos Sur
VIGAN CITY – Improvement of the Vigan airport and resumption of the Salomague Free Port Economic Zone are two of the projects that Governor Ryan Luis V Singson hopes to be done soon in the province with the aid of Rodrigo Duterte, the new President.
“With a fully developed airport in the city, tourism will continue to help improve the lives of residents, and push back poverty to zero,” the governor said in an interview over local radio recently.
The airport will also help in establishing the soon-to-rise Ilocos Sur Convention Center in barangay Tamag of this city. The new facility will include a government center, business hub, a building for a call center, a hotel, restaurants and a mall, Singson added.
Singson said having a call center will help residents who have to leave families to work in Manila.
“They spend much on rent, food and others which are free when they work in their home province. This will also help in the new President’s agenda of decongesting Metro Manila, building employment opportunities in the provinces,” Singson said.
Once the Vigan Airport is ready for regular flights, more job opportunities for residents will follow the arrival of visitors, he added.
The only airport in the province is a community airport according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. The Interisland Airlines began flying Manila to Vigan and back on March 19, 2009, but stopped after a few months because of low demand, according to Wikipedia.
Singson also said that once the Special Economic Zone and Freeport is established in the towns of Cabugao and San Juan, residents will no longer prefer to work abroad or in other provinces, as they themselves will put up their own businesses in the area.
At the Fourteenth Congress, Ronald Singson, incumbent representative of the first district, introduced a house bill seeking to establish the Special Economic Zone and Freeport in these towns. This will develop the Freeport area into a self-sustaining industrial, commercial and investment center pushing towards increased employment, and export-dynamic province.
Singson also hopes that the new President will help in the improvement of the Gabriela Silang General Hospital in this city, and the smooth implementation of projects funded by the tobacco excise tax fund.#