BONGAO, Tawi-tawi (MindaNews /14 October) – Gov. Sadikul Sahali foresees that the entry of Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) will boost economic development of the country’s southernmost province.
Sahali, who was among the over 100 passengers of CEB’s maiden flight Friday, said CEB’s will further enhance the mobility of people and goods from and to this province. Furthermore, he is expecting the island-province’s tourism industry to gain momentum because visitors now have additional choice as to what airline to take in going to Tawi-tawi.’
Aside from CEB, Air Philippines is also servicing Tawi-tawi.
Bongao Vice Mayor Leila Muharani Jumdail seconded the governor’s statement, saying that the growth of the tourism industry has long been delayed due to the non-availability of a faster and more convenient mode of transportation.
Sahali is eyeing to promote eco-tourism since this province has many scenic spots and pristine beaches which he says are much better than those found in other areas of the country, Tawi-tawi being composed of many small islands.
He said the availability of airlines will also boost the fishing industry because there is now a faster way for fishermen to transport fresh marine products to key cities in the country.
Sahali encouraged businessmen to establish links with traders in other parts of the country.
Aside from fishing, other leading sources of livelihood here include agriculture (seaweed farming and copra among them) and barter trade.
Jumdail said she is also expecting air fares to go down, now that there is competition.
CEB’s Zamboanga-Tawi-Tawi route is being served by an Airbus A319 plane, which has a seating capacity of 156. It will fly thrice a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Air Philippines, on the other hand, has daily flights to/fro Tawi-tawi. (MindaNews)