Wednesday, December 12, 2012

(PH) DFA endorses solon's proposal to develop Kalayaan Islands into a tourist spot

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has formally endorsed to the government a proposal by a lawmaker to develop the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) into a tourist destination.

In a letter addressed to Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario said the development of the municipality of Kalayaan “will be a clear expression of effective possession, administration, jurisdiction, and sovereignty by thePhilippines over its maritime domain in the West Philippine Sea.”

Del Rosario backed the proposal of Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez to speed up plans to turn the KIG into a tourist destination and fast-track the building of a 100-meter concrete wharf and a beaching ramp in the island that is the subject of dispute with China.

“The tourism plan for KIG will highlight the civilian character of this marine area off the coast of Palawan,” he said.

Rodriguez earlier pledged a portion of his Priority DevelopmentAssistance Fund (PDAF), more popularly known as pork barrel, for the development of the island into a tourism destination.

The lawmaker said developing structures on Pag-asa Island and bringing people there would help strengthen the country’s claim against that of China.

During deliberations on the proposed 2013 budget of the Department of Tourism, Rodriguez said he was willing to allocate P1 million from his PDAF and another P1 million from that of his brother, Representativ eMaximo Rodriguez of Abante Mindanao party-list, for the said purpose.-Interaksyon (December 11, 2012 5:50PM)

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