THE entire province of Zambales will be the country’s major tourist and economic hub in the next 20 years.
This was the picture envisioned by Zambales Gov. Amor Deloso, who is optimistic the province will not only dominate the entire region but also sees it to be a global stage for tourism, trade and commerce.
Deloso believes the province is poised to be the highlight of the Philippines’s future, with billions of pesos in investments and construction projects set to be implemented by both local and foreign investors for the next 10 years.
Kicking off with this 10-year economic plan in the province is the construction of the Zambales Convention Center and the provincial capitol as early as January next year. The governor wants to ensure the people of Zambales will benefit from this development.
Deloso said Zambeleños continue to spend extra money and travel time from their place to neighboring places like Clark, Baguio and Bulacan just to conduct conferences. With these plans in place, locals don’t have to spend to fly to Baguio, Manila or Makati just to have access to a decent venue for their meetings, seminars, symposia or any corporate and official gathering.
“The construction of this convention center will answer the needs of all sectors here for seminars and conventions of big groups,” Deloso explained.
For the last three decades, Zambales has been relegated to a mere rustic and laid-back summer alternative in the country. Despite having the best beaches in the country, the province is seen as merely a traditional place for fiestas and age-old cultural traditions.
With the vision of local officials and the support of its people, Zambales is finally emerging into a modern province, befitting its stature as a premier tourist destination in the country and in all of Asia.
“We are strategically situated. We are only four hours away from Hong Kong and other Asian countries through navigation. The world is getting congested but, here in our province, there is a vast resource for land, seas and mountains, and it’s about time we turn things around.”
Infrastructure projects will kick off starting next year.
The province has been considering partnerships with foreign and local investors that will see the rise of five-star hotels, a world-class airport and business establishment that will boost industries and trade and commerce in the region.
Asked how he plans to sustain all these development projects of the province, Deloso said Zambales is rich in natural resources and human capital to make these plans a reality.
“Zambales is a very rich province, it has 27 minerals. It might interest you to know that the biggest gold deposits in Asia are in Zambales, and the biggest deposit of chromite in the whole world is in Zambales. Now, chromite mining in Zambales has been going on for 90 years. For 90 years, mining companies have exploited that aside from the gold in San Marcelino.”