LEGAZPI CITY, Jan 14 (PIA) - Regional Development Council (RDC) Chairman and Legazpi City Mayor Noel E. Rosal expressed optimism for the Bicol region's economy this 2020.
Rosal cited the opening of the Bicol International Airport (BIA) and the resumption of the Philippine National Railways (PNR), along with the strengthening of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and agriculture sector as key drivers to boost local and national economy.
He confirmed that the BIA is expected to operate before the end of this year as the construction is now on its final touches.
"The operation of the BIA would bring millions of foreign tourist in Bicol. Those tourists are not just visitors but also potential investors who can probably put up business establishments that would surely improve the economic growth rate and address the unemployment problem of the entire Bicol region," Rosal said.
He also assured the full support of the RDC Bicol for the construction of PNR to decongest the traffic situation in the main roads from Bicol to Metro Manila and vice versa. It is also expected to cut travel time from 12 hours to five hours.
"The construction of the 639- kilometer railway project is expected to start on the first quarter this year. The project will link Manila to Calamba Laguna to Naga City, Camarines Sur and Legazpi City in Albay," Rosal said.
Likewise, the strengthening of SMEs is one way of improving livelihood activities in the communities and more employment opportunities.
In the agriculture sector, Rosal said the RDC will give more leeway to improve the cacao, pili and abaca and stressed that these kind of agricultural products are of high demand for export to other countries.(SAA-PIA5/Albay)