LUCENA CITY—The Quezon provincial government is gearing to start an all-out effort for the total tourism development of the northern part of the province.
Being eyed especially is the Polillo Group of Islands (Pogi) comprising the towns of Polillo, Burdeos, Patnanungan, Panukulan and Jomalig.
Gov. David Suarez is set to issue an executive order creating the Northern Quezon Development Cluster to realize the tourism potential of the island towns alongside the adjacent mainland towns of Real, Infanta and General Nakar.
“Right now, we are committed to push through our development projects in Northern Quezon, especially the Polillo Group of Islands. I see the need to have plans, standards, principles and guidelines for our tourism sector regarding our island-tourism destinations, so that’s why I am set to issue an executive order creating Northern Quezon Development Cluster to tap into our tourism potential and attract more tourists,” Suarez said in an ambush interview on Wednesday outside his office at the provincial capitol compound here.
“If we don’t set standards and guidelines, our efforts would come to naught, especially in
giving tourists comfortable accommodations if we could not give them a sense of security in the places we are promoting,” said the governor who, along with wife, Party-list Rep. Anna Villaraza-Suarez of Alona, executive assistants and various department heads visited Polillo and its neighboring island towns last weekend to check on various ongoing development projects of the provincial government.
Suarez expects a positive fallout from the national government’s move to close for one year well-known tourist destinations, such as Boracay, followed by Puerto Galera, due to environment and sanitation issues.
The governor is gearing up for the potential tourism development of Pogi, especially its virtually untouched island beaches which the governor considers as comparable in beauty and richness to Boracay in Panay island and El Nido in Palawan.
He said the annual invitational surfing competition in Real town under Mayor Diana Abigael Diestro-Aquino is drawing tourists and surfers, and can compete with similar event in Siargao and La Union; the island-hopping of tourists in Polillo and Burdeos and the tourist lure to the long stretch of several beach resorts in Infanta town.
Suarez also cited the ongoing concreting road project in Polillo and Burdeos, which is being delayed by the intermittent rains since October last year to February, causing the problems of delivering construction materials to the areas.
He assured the funding allocation of P126 million for the 30.7-kilometer road project for the two island towns and expects to complete the concreting of about 25.7 km before the year ends.
In pursuit of the realization of Northern Quezon as the “next frontier of development in Quezon,” the governor also cited the 24/7 electricity supply in the island towns, the near completion of the rehabilitation works of Infanta-Marikina road that has been destroyed by typhoon last year, and the establishment of Infanta Convention Center, which would be the venue for sports and cultural events and activities in Northern Quezon.
The governor and his wife met with the island towns’ Provincial Union of Leaders against Illegalities volunteer members who they both considered as new heroes of the province; attended the inauguration of the new Polillo medicare hospital; distributed agricultural inputs and program cash for the beneficiaries of Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged or Displaced Workers; and gave cash for work-development programs being implemented by the first-term Alona party-list legislator in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment.