P1.5 billion expected to be invested in Siargao Island in 2016

GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Island (MindaNews / 10 Dec) – With the influx of tourists in Siargao Island, the mayor here said at least P1.5-billion worth of capital will be invested on the island next year.

General Luna Mayor Jaime P. Rusillon told MindaNews Thursday that at least a billion pesos worth of various investments from tourism-related businesses will be shelled out by investors.

Almost all, or 95 percent, of the investments will be for General Luna alone, according to the mayor.

Rusillon stressed that most of these will go to purchases of land properties, as well as building resorts and other tourism-related investments.

He said that in the past few months, 35 new businesses have opened in the town with multimillion-peso investments.

“One of these is the Siargao Blue, a cozy resort that opened its doors in town recently,” the mayor said.

Rusillon pointed out that in the last three years, more than a billion pesos from the tourism industry have been spent every year in the town.

He said that as of this year, General Luna’s resorts have already reached 75, noting that no other town in all of Caraga Region has this much number of resorts.

“Not just inns have been sprouting like mushrooms but also restaurants and other tourism related businesses,” he said.

Rusillon said that the investments have great impact on the local economy, providing more job opportunities for residents.

“It trickles down to the local economy. Thus, we prevent our people from leaving the island to work in other places,” he said.

General Luna, known as the surfing capital of the Philippines, is considered as the tourism hub of Caraga Region.

Over the past few years, tourist arrivals in Siargao Island have increased. According to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), 13,188 passengers flew in and out of the island’s airport last year.

In the first five months of 2014, there were 7,160 passenger arrivals at the Sayak Airport here as against 5,530 arrivals recorded over the same period in the previous year, or an increase of 29.5 percent.

There is no available data as of this year yet but Rusillon said this year’s tourist arrivals will definitely surpass 2014’s.