300% hike in road budget eyed to aid tourism
Better access key to luring 10M visitors—PalaceBy Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Malacañang wants to quadruple to P12 billion its 2013 expenditures for roads that lead to tourist spots to support its goal of luring 5.5 million foreign visitors this year and 10 million by 2016.
This year, when the government is aiming at 4.6 million tourists, it is spending only P3.07 billion on such access roads.
Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad, explaining the proposed national budget for 2013, said the bulk of spending on tourism development should go to the construction, widening and upgrading of access roads to places that have been declared as, or are considered, tourist destinations.
Abad said the proposed funding would cover a total of 623.8 kilometers of road, either newly constructed or rehabilitated.
He added that the government also wants to increase spending on the campaign to make the country a “major global tourist destination” by more than twice, to P1.75 billion from P750 million this year.
The proposed amount includes a P250-million equity infusion into the Tourism Promotions Board.
On the other hand, the government wants to slow down on expenditures related to transport facilities such as airports, ports, and wharves—including needed inputs for new airport development projects and tourism support services.
In 2013 the government wants the Department of Transportation and Communications to build 15 airpots as well as nine wharves at a total cost of P3.73 billion, down from this year’s budget of 4.44 billion.
Short URL: http://business.inquirer.net/?p=74795