By Ben Serrano
Surigao, the port city of Caraga Region and gateway to Mindanao recorded a record high 300,000 tourist arrivals representing about 12% and P778 million in new investments registering 160% increase as compared in previous period, the highest so far among cities of Caraga.
Being jump off area to favorite tourism destination sites like Siargao, the 2016 report on tourism arrivals represent the highest in tourism arrivals or local, foreign tourists actually set foot in an area in Caraga.
In the 2017, 15-page State of Local Governance Performance Report by Surigao City Mayor Ernesto Matugas made public and furnished to media, it claimed the reported new investments created 552 business permits, made 1,275 new jobs with an increase also of gross sales of P400-M among establishments in the city.
Thus in terms of percentage, gross earnings among business establishments among Caraga cities, Surigao City registered highest in 2016.
In 2016, there are about 11,000 jobs in Surigao City, the report added.
The city also made significant improvements in tourism, registering 300,000 tourist arrivals representing 12%, the highest also among cities in the region.
Rise of tourism arrivals also increased demands of hotel, lodging houses accommodation, the city’s economic enterprise and tourism offices reported making Surigao City as the highest in occupancy in all types of establishments among cities or even in other provinces in the region.
To sum it up as far as Caraga’s tourism industry, the performance of Surigao which is the charter, capital city of Surigao del Norte, surpassed or outperforms, all other cities even Caraga’s regional center, Butuan City.
Matugas in his State of the City Address he delivered at the newly-refurbished City Gymnasium announced that a huge housing project will soon rise on a 24-hectare property in Barangay Balibayon and construction, establishment of a 10-hectares public cemetery site.
New malls will be constructed in Surigao City like the Prince Hypermart which will rise soon along Espina Extension.
“We already have issued already the building permits to PACEMCO for its rehabilitation plans and soon a modern City Mall will rise in Barangay Luna in front Surigao City Bus and Jeepney Terminal,” Matugas said.
“We also hope that the Council will finalize passage of new traffic rules institutionalizing it that is aimed in alleviating congestion as volume of registered vehicles per LTO records from the start of my term in 2010 was only 16,671, last year it increased to 20,846 and increasing, growing due improvement of our city’s economy,” Matugas added.
Other priority programs for 2017 and beyond of current Surigao City administration are; sustained and enhance agriculture, fisheries and livestock development programs; Sustainable promotion of private sector investments, for commercial, industrial and tourism development and Sustainable Environmental Management and Pollution Control.