Bill on Camotes gives promise of investments | Inquirer News

Bill on Camotes gives promise of investments

By: - Senior Reporter / @agarciayapCDN
/ 07:47 AM June 17, 2011

MORE investments will pour into Camotes Islands, Cebu once a bill rationalizing the management of the natural resources in the islands becomes a law.

Rep. Ramon Durano VI (Cebu 5th district) said yesterday the bill would identify the “protected areas of Camotes Islands,” which he said were only 4,000 hectares out of the 20,000-hectare land area of the islands.

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He said if the bill becomes law, then it would leave 16,000 hectares of the islands as alienable and disposable land where developments would be allowed.

With Camotes Island’s potential for tourism especially with its white-sand coastlines as well as Lake Danao as tourist destination, Durano said it will only be a matter of time after the bill becomes a law that developments will start.

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“Ideal investments in Camotes Island include waste management, power generation and distribution, as well as with water supply, accommodation like hotels and many other related investments,” he said.

Durano said the HB 897 passed the first reading at the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources and was scheduled for second and third readings before it would become into a law.

“The bill was sponsored by Sen. Miguel Zubiri and it aims to amend proclamation 2152 in Dec. 29, 1981 declaring the whole province of Palawan and certain parcels of the public domain and/or parts of the country as mangrove swamp forest reserves,” Durano said.

He said the House committee on environment were waiting for National Mapping and Resources Information Authority to identify the coordinates of the “protected areas” covered by the bill.

“Once this is finally passed into law, which I have aimed to achieve before the end of my term come 2013, investors will be more encouraged to put up developments in the island especially with tourism.”

Camotes Islands are made up of four barangays – Poro, Tudela, San Francisco and Pilar.

At present, there are at least seven inter-island transportation companies travel to and from Camotes Islands via different ports in Cebu including Danao, Pier 1 and Ouano Wharf to Poro, San Francisco, Consuelo Wharf, and Puertobillo.

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He said demand for bigger vessels traveling to Camotes Islands would happen in the future when all the developments would be put into place.

There are nine resorts operating in Camotes Island. These include Harbor View Family Resort, Keshe Beach Resort, Payag Beach House and Resort, Mangodlong Rock Resort, Santiago Bay Garden and Resort, Borromeo Island Resort, My Little Island Hotel and Masamayor’s Beach House and Resort.

“To support tourists, we are also planning on setting up a centralized tourism desk in the island as well as in the main land. Perhaps in Danao where we can better serve tourists that visit the island,” he said.

Durano said the plan for the centralized tourism desk is currently being discussed among municipality officials. He said they would have to agree on how much each of them will spend for the operation of such project.

“In the meantime, I expect the bill to be passed on before the end of the year because it’s not something that’s controversial and requires funding, which will need to go through another reading at the Appropriations Committee,” Durano said.

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TAGS: Business, Camotes Islands, Natural Resources
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