A SIGNIFICANT portion of the Philippines’ 2012 infrastructure budget of PHP 182.2 billion (US$4.28 billion) has been earmarked for the development of airports, roads, and bridges to increase tourist influx into the country.
Development of access roads to airports and “roll-on/roll-off” ports to key destinations like Boracay, Palawan, Bohol, Bicol and Cebu have an allotment of PHP 8.1 billion.
PHP 1.2 billion will be channeled towards building the new Bohol Airport in Panglao, while PHP 1 billion will be spent on upgrading Puerto Princesa International Airport.
The National Parks Development Committee, which takes care of Rizal Park, will receive PHP 37.6 million for development and maintenance of parks around the country, with another PHP 4.5 million for arts promotion and cultural activities.
The Intramuros Administration will receive PHP 2.1 million for cultural property conservation efforts and PHP 3.4 million for tourism promotions.
Within the Department of Tourism (DOT), PHP 762.4 million will be spent on international promotions, PHP 12.5 million on local tourism promotions, and PHP 18.6 million on the Philippine pavilion at the 2012 World Expo in Yeosu, South Korea.
Meanwhile, the DOT’s year-end arrival figures reveal that the Philippines received 3.91 million visitors last year, an 11.28 per cent increase over 2010’s 3.52 million, and 4.6 per cent higher than DOT’s target of 3.7 million.