BATAC CITY -– Presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe Thursday vowed to promote tourism in Ilocos Norte to generate more employment and income opportunities for residents here.
Speaking before Batac City officials and employees, Poe acknowledged the huge potential of the tourism industry in the province, where her father, Fernando Poe Jr. shot his most popular movie series, “Ang Panday.”
“Batid natin ang potensyal ng turismo dito ay napakalaki dahil nga ang ganda-ganda ng inyong lugar. Noon pa pinaplano kung papa’no palalawakin ang airport at kung ano pang pwedeng gawin para dito,” she said.
Poe said the expansion of the Laoag Airport would help boost tourism in the province as it will allow more foreign visitors to enter the Philippines via Ilocos Norte. According to the province’s tourism office, the only international flights to Laoag are chartered from Kaohsiung in Taiwan.
“Alam din natin ang dami ng trabahong madadagdag kung derechong may international flights dito at ma-expand natin ang airport,” she said.
The senator, who shared memories of the province as a child, noted the natural beauty of Ilocos Norte and recalled how FPJ would bring home Ilocano specialties during filming.
If given the chance to lead the country, Poe said she would implement free irrigation projects in Ilocos Norte for the farmers that her father, who also ran for president in 2004, had long wanted to help.
“We also acknowledge the smuggling problem here in the province, the entry of various agricultural products. That badly affects the local farmers,” she said. “Kaya kasama sa aming programa ang libreng irigasyon hanggat kailangan ng ating mga magsasaka at kasama na rin po yun mga pampadagdag trabaho sa turismo.” PNA/northboundasia.com