Tourism in Palawan will soon receive a lift not only from the province's world-renowned Underground River but also from a new airport development that has moved closer to completion.
The government has inked a $71.6-million deal with South Korea to fund the project, the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Wednesday.
The news comes amid rising tourist arrivals to Palawan owing primarily to the Underground River, which was recently named as one of the "New Seven Wonders of Nature" based on a global poll.
Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn earlier said that Palawan received 425,000 visitors in 2011, a huge leap 2009 figures of 150,000.
"Under the loan agreement, the Republic of Korea, through KEXIM (Export-Import Bank of Korea), will provide... $71.612 million to finance the improvement and rehabilitation of the gateway airport of the Province of Palawan," the DFA said.
The deal was signed Aug. 23 by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and KEXIM Chairman and President Yong Hwan Kim.
The project, which will be implemented by the Transportation department, involves the construction of a new passenger terminal and a new access road.
It also includes the runway improvements and the provision of navigational aids to accommodate increased domestic and international flights.
"The project is also expected to revitalize the transport and trade linkages under the Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines – East ASEAN Growth Area and boost tourism and economic growth in Puerto Princesa City as a Special Zone of Peace and Development," the statement said.
BY CLARA CHOOIASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 ― The police should not appeal yesterday’s decision by a magistrate to deny remand on two opposition figures and an activist if it wants to regain public confidence, Lim Kit Siang said today.