Agri-business, tourism and manufacturing top Ilocos Norte’s 2015 investment program

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte, Jan. 21 (PNA) — As Ilocos Norte remains committed to eliminate extreme poverty and hunger by the end of 2015, this year’s Annual Investment Program (AIP) highlights agri-business, tourism and manufacturing (ATM).

The proposed 2015 AIP, incorporating more than Php 178 million as part of the 20 percent development fund of the Php 891, 781,797 Internal Revenue Allotment share of the province, was unanimously approved by the council in a session today, January 21, without any deliberation

The meeting held at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall was presided by Governor Imee Marcos and attended by at least 86 members of the Provincial Development Council (PDC).

In support of the provincial government’s call to transform Ilocos Norte from a rapidly-growing but poor province to a vibrant, middle income and job-rich economy, the 20 percent of the IRA has been allotted to development projects such as job generation projects, more development support to agri-business including infrastructure support to tourism and manufacturing business.

Compared to previous year, the province’s 20-percent development fund this year increased to P22 million.

Under the agri-business and manufacturing program, the provincial government plans to sustain its public-private partnership packages and initiatives to support small and medium entrepreneurs, establishment of more fish farms in coastal villages, vegetable seed dispersal in support to food production, establishment of multi-crop corn-based farming system, capability enhancement on value adding of high value crops such as mango and garlic in support to agri-tourism in the province including marketing assistance for the improvement of trading centers, among others.

For tourism, the Provincial Engineering Office is set to improve the entrance of the Paoay sand dunes and cafeteria worth P4 million including the construction of additional cafeteria and souvenir shops, comfort rooms, visitors’ complex, boardwalk, fish market, parking area and site development in various tourism destinations of the province.

With these developments, Marcos hopes that thousands of local jobs will be created in Ilocos Norte, thus ensuring a steadfast economic growth and investment hub in this northern gateway of Luzon.(PNA)