As gateway to Bohol, Tagbilaran City starts preparing for the inevitable increased economic activities by the time the New Bohol Airport in Panglao operates by first quarter of 2018.
The provincial government and the city government race with the timetable for the establishment of a monorail system to connect Tagbilaran from the eyed Bohol Business Park point to the New Bohol Airport.
The Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) also prepares the blueprint for the eyed monorail system’s other connections to nearby municipalities.
The Provincial Development Council already presented the concept wherein stations will be set up at the future Bohol Business Park to cater to commuters going to the New Bohol Airport in Panglao, and the towns of Albur, Corella and Maribojoc, and back.
Bohol’s first monorail system will initially serve these four routes and will be expanded to other areas of the province.
The Bohol Business Park which will house the terminal of the monorail system at the Tagbilaran point will be developed at the current Tagbilaran City Airport once its operation will already be transferred to the New Bohol Airport when the latter opens by the first quarter of 2018.
Tagbilaran City’s existing Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) already included the development of the Bohol Business Park.
It will be developed in a 24.24-hectare area “adjacent to lots classified as Light Industrial area in the existing Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of Tagbilaran City”.
Bohol also intends to cater to possible business and industry locators in an industrial and information technology park to be established.
It will accommodate information technology-based services such as call centers, software and product development, business process outsourcing, light and low-intensity industries, tourism-based services, commercial spaces for offices, and food and support services.
However, Bohol officials continue to talk with telecommunications companies to address complaints about unstable internet connections and interconnections.
Once the Bohol Business Park will be established, the monorail system will have to follow to improve connectivity from Tagbilaran to Panglao and from Tagbilaran to other towns where tourist spots have also been developed.
Gov. Edgar Chatto explained that the Bohol Business Park, the monorail system and the Information Technology (IT) hub projects are intended to complement each other.
This is considering that resorts and other accommodation businesses also target digital nomads or those in the online jobs who could work anywhere as long as internet connection is available.
The operations of the business park and the new airport will cater to the expected increase in tourists and travelers; and will also open business opportunities, facilitates competition and reduce monopoly of business in localities.
Chatto said the monorail system will be a private-sector driven facility that is cost-effective, has less land requirement for right of way, and most efficient and economical.
The provincial government also eyes to establish the Panglao Bay Premiere Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone (PBPFTEZ) that will cover an area of 111 hectares spanning barangays Bolod and Tawala in Panglao.
It is one of flagship Tourism Eco Zone (TEZ) sponsored by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).
Chatto said it will be an “integrated mixed-use tourism and leisure resort community which will provide a mix of overnight and day visitor activities, facilities and services including holiday and retirement, residential, leisure shopping, food and beverage, and amusement and entertainment concepts”.
The city government, for its part, has also start preparing for the implementation of the Tagbilaran Waterfront Development Project.
Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell Yap had earlier explained that the project entails development of foreshore areas that includes a boulevard, alternate road, parks, eateries, and water treatment facility.
Yap also assured that the remaining 50 households as informal settlers will be relocated to a 50-hectare property that the previous city administration purchased in the adjacent town of Baclayon.
Close to the inception of the project, the city government already made sure no other informal settlers will be added to the existing ones to also address concerns of sanitation and for Tagbilaran residents to have decent living conditions.
In addition, a third bridge will also be constructed to connect Tagbilaran from the Poblacion II point to Panglao
Now that the business climate in the city has improved, Yap looks forward to developing Tagbilaran no longer just as a gateway to Bohol but a destination itself.
The Blood Compact shrine in barangay Bool is now being developed into a Bohol Friendship Park.
Yap also continued to tap companies that could support his projection that Tagbilaran can be an IT hub soon.
The city mayor also closely monitors the City Traffic Management Office (CTMO) in addressing traffic concerns and the mounting complaints against ill-mannered drivers of tricycles-for-hire.
Paid parking areas have also been established to address concerns on crowded roadsides, to complement the implementation of the clamping ordinance.