MANILA – Ayala Land is set to launch a resort project in Sicogon Island in Iloilo within the first half of the year.
The 1,100-hectare Sicogon Island Tourism Estate project involves the development of a resort town center, hotels and resorts, as well as commercial and residential establishments, supported by an on-site airstrip.
The runway’s groundbreaking is scheduled for the second half of the year while test flights to Sicogon are being targeted for the first quarter of 2017.
“The initial development will concentrate on building the airport and runway, to ensure accessibility to the island,” said Jose Emmanuel Jalandoni, Ayala Land senior vice president and group head of commercial business.
“The 1.3-kilometer runway will allow immediate access from Manila and Cebu to the island development,” he added.
The project, a joint venture between Ayala Land and Sicogon Development Corporation (SIDECO), aims to drive economic progress in Western Visayas and the entire region as it serves as a tourism hub for nearby destinations like Gigantes, Bantayan and Concepcion islands.
Ayala Land estimates that the development will provide 20,000 jobs, and generate approximately P1 billion in earnings for the community through business opportunities from the retail and commercial establishments.
Ayala Land, SIDECO and the Federation of Sicogon Island Farmers and Fisherfolk Association (FESIFFA) signed a framework agreement in 2014 to pave the way for the sustainable development of Sicogon Island.
“We strongly believe and hope that poverty alleviation will be achieved through tourism projects. These will give us various job opportunities and help us improve farming and fishing methods,” said Raul Ramos, president of FESIFFA.