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Next 'Tourism Mecca' in Bulacan
MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan - Development is making its way in Bulacan alongside plans of the Regional Development Council 3 (RDC) to establish the next "Tourism Mecca" of Central Luzon in this province.
In line with this ambitious plan, the RDC approved last Wednesday proposed Central Bulacan Tourism Loop project presented by the provincial government at the joint meeting of the Sectoral Committee on Infrastructure Development (SCID) and the Special Committee on Tourism (SCOT) held at the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center.
Governor Wilhelmino N. Sy-Alvarado, chairman of the SCID of RDC III, said the project intends to improve the tourism road networks of the province and a poverty reduction intervention to promote the general welfare of the Bulakenyos through the implementation of efficient and effective Tourism Development and Promotion Programs.
He said the project aims to capitalize on the opportunities and socio-economic development impact that the on-going construction of the Philippine Arena in Bocaue town.
The Philippine Arena - also known as the "Ciudad de Victoria in the province is expected to become a huge tourist destination for it will include the biggest dome in the world, a tertiary hospital, university, sports complex and other facilities.
He said that when finished, the Philippine Arena could accommodate at least 65,000 people. It is being built on a 70-hectare parcel of land in Bocaue and parts of Sta. Maria town.
Alvarado said the project will directly affect the socio-economic activities of the influence area including that of 7 municipalities and 29 villages with an aggregate total population of 162,200.
"It won't be long now and the world be focused on the Philippines, and of course particularly the province of Bulacan. This will definitely spur growth and development in the area," Alvarado said.
The Philippine Arena is being rushed for the centennial anniversary celebration of the Iglesia ni Cristo church in 2014 and could possibly be the next venue of the APEC Summit in 2015.
Arlene Pascual, head of the Provincial Planning and Development Office, presented the proposed Central Bulacan Tourism Loop Project which will be executed in cooperation with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) through the DPWH-DOT Tourism Convergence Program.
Prices of Agricultural Lands in Bulacan Rise
BOCAUE, Bulacan—Prices of agricultural lands in Bocaue have increased drastically due to the economic growth the town is expected to experience once the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC or Church of Christ) finishes building its Philippine Arena there, Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado of Bulacan province said on Tuesday.
During a forum on post-harvest loss or reduction of palay (unhusked rice) held at the Bocaue municipal hall, Sy-Alvarado said reports reaching him showed that before the indoor arena’s construction began, the price of farmlands in the town was P300 per square meter, before ballooning to P7,000 per sq m as construction progressed.
The Philippine Arena is the INC’s centerpiece project and is expected to be completed within 30 months in time for the religious organization’s centennial in 2014, according to a report by Jerry Caguingin of the investment and promotion unit of the Provincial Cooperative and Enterprise Development.
The indoor arena has a seating capacity of 50,000 to 55,000, a floor area of 74,000 sq m and its dome measures nearly 36,000 meters, making it the world’s largest. Its construction cost is estimated at $212 million or approximately P9 billion.
The Ciudad de Victoria, where the Philippine Arena is being constructed, will be home to the EGM Memorial Medical Center, the New Era University-Bulacan campus, the New Era University Sports Stadium Complex and the EVM Convention Center.
The governor advised the town’s farmers to consider any offer to buy their land very carefully, saying that once the indoor arena and other structures within its vicinity are built, the value of real-estate properties will increase.