Firm to develop P2-B beach, diving resort
The country’s premier racing club, Manila Jockey Club Inc., is investing at least P2 billion to develop the 104-hectare seaside Apo Reef Township in Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro, into an international ecotourism estate.
To be developed by Manila Jockey’s subsidiary, Apo Reef World Resorts Inc., this township is envisioned to be the next major beach and diving destination in the country.
Located in barangay Fatima and Talabaan, the estate is only 30 minutes away from the world-renowned and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco)-protected Apo Reef Natural Park, the second largest contiguous coral reef in the world and the biggest in the Philippines.
The township has a four-kilometer beach shoreline, situated on flat terrain with lush vegetation, including a 1,200-meter inlet river within the property, ideal for various water sports and activities.
MJC is confident that this new resort project would help boost the tourism development of the country and attract tourists and diving enthusiasts from all over the world.
In an interview with the Inquirer during the unveiling of the Apo Reef Township, MJC chair Alfonso Reyno Jr. said the group was now in talks with big foreign hospitality groups to set up operations in the area. The group prefers to retain ownership of the land and gain from the appreciation in net asset value but is willing to offer liberal lease terms.
The initial P2-billion investment will cover basic infrastructure, including roads, sewerage treatment plants as well as underground telecommunication and cable network, said Reyno, a prominent Ilocano businessman from Cagayan Valley and a former defense undersecretary and lawmaker.
The plan is to widen the barangay roads in the Talabaan area leading to the site and construct a municipal sewer treatment plant in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Apo Reef World Resorts is also working on extending and resurfacing the Mamburao Airport runway to accommodate larger commercial planes and tourist arrivals via direct flights from key cities. Once there is enough traffic to the area, Reyno said major carriers have committed to open up flights to and from Mamburao airport, which is a 15-minute drive from the estate.
The township will have a marina yacht club, an upscale residential area, retirement villages, restaurants and retail shopping. As big locators such as hotel operators come in, this will bring in more investments to the tourism estate.
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