By Irma A. Guhit
SORSOGON CITY, Feb. 6 (PIA) — There’s a fresh wind blowing across Sorsogon, and it is envigorating everyone. There are new changes and improvements in the landscape that have been observed by almost all who had been in the area.
For one, the Infrastructure has been undergoing a thorough facelift — there are now well paved roads, new buildings constructed and being constructed, additional banks are being located in the city and in some municipalities, and a new terminal is now being constructed; it shows that the province is gearing up for 2012.
Sorsogon Electric Cooperative II (SORECO)has a new three-story building open to serve its clientele.
On the other hand, the Sorsogon City Water District (SCWD) is upgrading its facilities and equipments with the Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) providing 24/7 water supply and has added a gym for the healthy lifestyle of its employees.
In the local government units, all municipalities have birthing facilities and two district hospitals are being renovated/ rehabilitated, while the provincial hospital is adding 15 more beds.
Just this December, a big supermarket opened for business while two more big supermarkets are being constructed and set to open this semester. People say that business opportunities are now felt here in the province.
According to Leah Pagao, provincial director of the Department of Trade and Industry, Sorsogon has now become a trade center here in the south with people from down Masbate coming to the province via Bulan and Pilar ports to purchase goods in bulk and do trading.
Several eateries have also sprung up from small and medium carenderias, to fast food chains and restaurants catering to the big number of students here studying in the city and people doing business and other economic activities.
The one-stop shop of the city of Sorsogon has recorded a 17 percent mark up in tax collection compared to the previous year even if there was an increase in tax due to the imposition of the new city tax code according to Ireneo Manaois, Sorsogon City administrator.
It has also been observed that the influx of tourists here in the province continue to increase due to tourism marketing strategies of the provincial and municipal tourism offices involving the participation of private partners who have build new hotels and add on bed and breakfast inns.
The improvements and the newly constructed roads leading to Mt. Bulusan are now almost complete making for a fast link to several tourism destinations particularly to both land and island travelers.
Local government initiatives in terms of improving the services of the municipal and provincial employment offices have also made a significant mark in employment locally with the opening of new eateries, supermarkets, and banks as recorded by the provincial and municipal employment officers here.
According to Pagao, Sorsogon has gained impact on the global market not only because of its natural tourism destinations but also because of its local products like pili, abaca, karagumoy, moras now locally produced and assisted in terms of development by the two representatives from the first and second districts through the small and medium enterprise development initiatives as reflected in their congressional fund allocations.
With the new thrust of the national government under President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino’s administration, implementation of the Philippine Development Plan, Sorsogon has now become according to most observers here a hub of economic opportunities, its location being the gateway to the south and to the north.(MAL/IAGPIA-Sorsogon)