PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo October 17 led the opening of the 28th Camiguin Lanzones Festival along with Rep. Pedro P. Romualdo, Governor Jurdin Jesus M. Romualdo, Tourism Secretary Ace Durano and Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro.
In her speech, the President said Camiguin tourism strategy is what encouraged her to include the province in the Central Nautical Highway, giving the assurance that its sweet lanzones, tourists, and other agricultural products find their way within the Cebu-Bohol-Camiguin triad tourism destination and other urban centers in the country via roll-on, roll-off (RORO) ferries.
“The world is taking notice of Camiguin as well,” President Arroyo said, expressing gladness over the number of tourists who are in the island to witness the Lanzones Festival.
She said developments such as these helped the country take the path to permanent economic growth and stability, drew more investments, strengthened the peso, pushed the stock market to historic heights and created 6 million jobs in 6 years.
Gov. Romualdo, for his part, thanked the President for releasing all the projects she promised in her State of the Nation Address such as the rehabilitation and completion of the island’s circumferential road, farm-to-market roads, irrigation, livelihood, and the on-going expansion of the Balbagon Port in Mambajao, the capital town.
Once completed, the port will service vessels plying the Bohol-Camiguin sea route.
Improvement works will be implemented in the roll-on, roll-off (RORO) ports of Benoni in Mahinog town and Guinsiliban.
“I’m wondering why others say nothing happens in the countryside, when a province as small as Camiguin could see a lot of projects mushroom in the island,” said Gov. Romualdo.
The governor is also hoping that the scheduled trip of President Arroyo to Spain this December would bring in more projects for the province.
He proudly announced a possible grant from the Spanish government for a wind mill electrification project, which will be the first in Mindanao and Visayas, including a waste management project and additional RORO ferries to operate in the island-province.
In response, President Arroyo said she has told Transportation and Communications Secretary Larry Mendoza to secure a RORO port in southern Cebu to facilitate the Cebu-Bohol-Camiguin ferry route.
She also expressed willingness to release P10 million for the construction of a cross-country road and another P10 million to fund market development in the province.
After formally launching the Lanzones Festival, the President motored to the Provincial Tourism Center where she led the opening of this year’s Agro-Industrial-Technology Trade Fair dubbed “Ugmad 2007”.
There, she proceeded to the One Town, One Product (OTOP) main display to examine the province’s top OTOP products and sample several of Camiguin’s sweet lanzones along with Presidential Assistant for the Peace Process Jess Dureza, Gov. Romualdo, and Rep. Romualdo, before viewing some of the exhibit booths.
President Arroyo also viewed the on-going expansion works at the Balbagon RORO port.(Municipal Information Office)