The ripple effect created by the government’s biggest tourism-development project, the Bagong Nayong Pilipino-Manila Bay Tourism City, would extend beyond the local hospitality industry and long after the year 2010, which is when locations in the project are expected to become fully operational.
The Tourism City, spearheaded by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), is expected to generate as many as 250,000 new jobs in the first phase alone, besides boosting foreign tourist arrivals by over 1 million visitors annually and increasing revenues for the national government through lease payments and tax revenues.
Efraim C. Genuino, Pagcor Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, underscored the project as the state-run firm’s ultimate legacy and contribution to the country’s economic recovery when he joined top government officials, lawmakers and personalities in the Tourism City’s recent formal groundbreaking.
Poised to invest at least $1 billion each in the venture, after gaining Pagcor’s approval for their proposed concepts in the Tourism City, are Aruze Corp. of Japan, the Genting Berhad Group of Malaysia, Bloombury Investments Ltd. and local mall giant SM Investments.
Although the primary beneficiaries would be workers in the hotel and restaurant sector, the enormity of the estimated $15 billion (approximately P600 billion) venture will create employment opportunities for Filipinos in a whole range of industries as well.
Squelching speculations that the employment opportunities generated by the project only stand to benefit those living in the Metro Manila area, Genuino assured that all Filipinos from around the country are to be given equal opportunity.
“Since most establishments in the Tourism City shall be operational 24/7, residential villages for workers shall be built within the complex itself. This will also make it more convenient for employees coming from the provinces,” he said. Furthermore, Genuino said the next phases of this project will not exclusively take place at the Manila Bay reclamation site.
“We also have plans of replicating this integrated leisure and entertainment complex, but on a smaller scale, in other parts of the country such as Subic and Cebu, to spur growth in those locations as well. Our ultimate goal is to make the Philippines the premier tourist destination in Asia, if not the world,” he disclosed.
Located on prime reclaimed land fronting Manila Bay, the Tourism City would stimulate growth in the construction industry, as well as produce jobs in the services sector, such as transportation, information technology, food and beverage, entertainment, medical and health. It would also boost the banking sector and the financial market.
“The Bagong Nayong Pilipino will, without cost to the government, create endless opportunities for local businesses and generate jobs for our people,” said Genuino, the visionary behind the 90-hectare-plus project in Parañaque City.
According to statistics from the Department of Labor and Employment as of October 2007, the country employs about 907,000 workers in the hotel and restaurant sector alone. That number could rise to over a million once proponents in the Tourism City build their planned six-star hotels, malls and theme parks.
Other planned facilities in the Tourism City, envisioned as a fully integrated entertainment and leisure complex for people of all ages, are museums, cultural centers, sports arenas and residential villages.
Another huge benefit which the project will bring to local workers is the opportunity to earn in US dollars without having to leave the country. In the project’s Terms of Reference, which can be viewed on Pagcor’s web site (www.pagcor.ph), locators are urged to pay salaries competitive with those in hotels and integrated resorts in other countries.