P250M set to make Roxas Boulevard ready for Apec

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NEW SHINE ON SUNSET BOULEVARD Preparations for two international conferences will see improvements on the road that offers a dramatic view of dusk from Manila Bay. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

Roxas Boulevard is set for a P250-million makeover as part of the red carpet the government is rolling out for world VIPs.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released the amount on Friday to spruce up the boulevard in time for two major international conferences to be held in the country: the 2014 World Economic Forum on East Asia and the 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit.

The two events are drawing heads of states and high-level delegations from governments and business sectors across the globe.

According to the DBM, the P250 million would fund improvements on service roads, parking areas, lighting and other infrastructure requirements of the 10.1-km, eight-lane road that stretches from Bonifacio Drive in Manila to Airport Road in Parañaque City.

“Roxas Boulevard is one of the country’s major gateways for local and international tourists, apart from being one of Metro Manila’s busiest and most developed commercial areas,” according to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.

“Despite this, the boulevard infrastructure needs some sprucing up to improve the efficiency in the road system, especially since we’re expecting a higher volume of visitors to arrive over the coming years,” he added.

The enhancement of the boulevard will be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), with “guidance” from the Department of Tourism.

The budget department said the Department of Tourism (DOT) would head an interagency committee that will craft a long-term development plan for the boulevard.

“The aim is to go beyond merely beautifying the road to create a comprehensive, long-term and sustainable plan that will shore up tourism and commerce in the surrounding areas, all while considering environmental, traffic management, and security issues along the boulevard,” Abad said.

The last major international event held in the country that required such big preparations was the 45th annual meeting of Asian Development Bank in May last year, which gathered some 5,000 representatives from 67 ADB member countries.

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