A new seaside promenade, estimated to cost Php 58.91 million, will soon be joining the list of tourist attractions in Northern Luzon in yet another step to boost tourism in the country.
Dubbed the Poro Point Baywalk and Events Center project, the 1.3-kilometer promenade will be situated inside the Poro Point Freeport Zone (PPFZ) and will boast an events center which includes an amphitheater, an eco-park and playground.
It will be built on the side of Poro Point facing the San Fernando bay where one may appreciate the evening lights from Poro all the way to Bacnotan and Balaoan.
The PPFZ is under the stewardship of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and its subsidiary, the Poro Point Management Corp. (PPMC).
BCDA said that some 44 cut lots along the Baywalk’s commercial strip will be opened for lease for tourism- and commercial-related enterprises and will become part of the development of the mixed-use commercial area inside the freeport zone.
The Baywalk is also expected to showcase the former US military facility as a business hub at the same time, forms part of major tourism infrastructures in place in a fully developed freeport zone.
According to the BCDA, no entrance fee will be collected as the area will be free to the public, with specific foot traffic targeting families on vacation, joggers, bikers, and nature enthusiasts.
Poro Point, La Union
Tourism and economy boost
With this development, local officials in the region have expressed optimism that the project will lead to increased tourist spending that augurs well for the economy of La Union and the region.
Furthermore, an increase in the number of job opportunities to the people of La Union is also expected as a huge percentage of the workforce of lessees will come from San Fernando City and the province of La Union.
BCDA president and CEO Arnel Paciano Casanova said that he shared excitement with the people of La Union and of Northern Luzon with the launch of the construction of the Baywalk project on April 11, which would be one of the highlights of this year’s Sillag Poro Point Festival of Lights.
“Let us work together and put San Fernando City, La Union at the world map of major tourist and recreation destinations,” Casanova said in a statement.
The BCDA chief is expected to join other BCDA-PPMC officials and local government leaders during the project launch.
An average of 20,000 people per day, hundreds of which are foreign tourists, are expected to witness the four-day festival. The peak number of visitors is expected to reach 40,000, the PPMC said.
PPMC chairman Ives Nisce noted that a cut lot at the commercial strip along the Poro Point Baywalk will measure 400 square meters, 60 percent of which will be utilized for building the structure.
Upon its completion, the promenade by the sea will benefit the local community as small and medium entrepreneurs and businessmen will be given preference in leasing commercial lots.
To date, at least nine enterprises have signified interest in entering into lease contracts with PPMC for business in the bay walk commercial strip.
The BCDA and PPMC, meanwhile, expect the project to be completed by the last quarter of the year. (PNA)RMA/Azer N. Parrocha