Batangas City Mulls Riverside Recreational Esplanade Tourism Landmark

The City Council has approved a resolution endorsing the construction of a public recreational esplanade beside Calumpang River to boost tourism in the city.

Architect Gerry Palas of the City Engineer's Office presented the project design and specifications of the proposed City Esplanade tourism project before the City Council committee hearing on Sept. 24, and obtained the subsequent endorsement on Sept. 25.

The proposed Batangas City Esplanade project, which is expected to boost tourism, will be transmitted to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for funding allocation.

"Ito ay isang esplanade kung saan pwedeng mamasyal at mag relax ang mga tao ang pinaplanong itayo sa tabi ng Calumpang River, sa Sitio Ferry Kumintang Ibaba, isang proyekto na inaasahang magpapalago sa turismo ng Batangas City (This is an esplanade where the public may tour around and relax in a tourism park beside the Calumpang River, Sitio Ferry Kumintang Ibaba. The project is expected to boost tourism in Batangas City)," Palas said in an interview Thursday .

He said the fund is the city's share under the Local Government Support Fund Assistance to the Cities(LGSF-AC) in the FY 2018 General Appropriations Act or R.A. No. 10964 for the Development of City's Open Spaces. The support fund is released only to provinces, cities, and municipalities which have passed the DILG's Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH).

The City Council, in a resolution, said the project would be a beautiful recreational avenue for the constituents, tourists, visitors and the public that aims to maximize the "open spaces," transform the area from an "eyesore" into more useful and productive zone for the people.

Palas said data revealed that there are around 20,000 residents from 10 villages near the area who will benefit from the project. This does not include yet the additional 10,000 people from the nearby villages who pass by the area daily.

He said the design includes ripraps with murals, extended balcony, seating areas with overlooking river view, paved two-way jogging lane, planting strip, two-way bicycle lane, proposed amphitheater, paved open spaces, and spaces for commercial stalls.

Meanwhile, City Planning and Development officer Januario Godoy assured that residents, among them informal settlers in the Sitio Ferry, would not be affected because the Esplanade project is several meters away from the residential area.

Godoy said that under the plan, access ramps would be put up to addresses concerns of the Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), and bicycle parking spaces.

He also explained to the committee the city government's rehabilitation program for the Calumpang River where solid wastes and trashes coming from nearby towns are dumped.

Councilor Serge Atienza, acting chairman of the council's Committee on Laws, Rules and Regulations, also got assurance from city planners on the availability of commercial spaces for business establishments and entrepreneurs.

"Dapat nating masiguro na mayroong espasyo para sa mga commercial establishments. Isa ito sa mag-ge-generate ng malaking income at negosyo sa ating mga kababayan (We have to ensure spaces for commercial establishment. This is one way of generating income and business opportunity for our constituents)," Atienza said.

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