The Samal Resort Owners Association is all out for the construction of the Davao-Samal Bridge dream project saying it will benefit the more than 100 resorts in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS).
Engineer Pastor Lozada, president of the association, said they have been waiting for so long for its construction as it will help accelerate the development of the island.
“Matagal na dapat na construct yan even sa time pa ni former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada. As far as I am concerned makakatulong ito sa tourism at the same time for the development of the island,” Lozada told Edge Davao in an exclusive telephone interview.
Lozada sees the establishment of a Davao-Samal connector will have a positive economic impact to the island.
“Kung magkakaroon ng tulay maraming improvement ang mangyayari sa island like construction of a hospital para sa mga turista at retirees. Magkakaroon din ng maraming subdivision,” he said.
He added that they are positioning Samal Island as a retirement retreat. He also said with the bridge more tourists and visitors will be able to explore and experience the island. He said the influx of visitors and tourists to the island is during Christmas season, Holy Week, and vacation.
Lozada said the long queue of people at the wharf is stopping visitors and tourists to go to the island.
“Davao City is now positioning as MICE destination at segurado yung mga guests sa convention gusto rin pumunta sa Samal pero hindi tumutuloy dahil sa taas ng pila sa wharf,” Lozada said.
Lozada said the best site for the bridge must be decided by the government.
“The valuation of the size of the area to be surveyed at kung may tatamaan titingnan kung gaano kalaki ang area na maaapektuhan. The government must undertake all legal matters pertaining to expropriation. Pag hindi ganon ang gagawin, Malabo na magkakaroon ng tulay,” he said.
Although, the bridge will boost tourism in the island, according to him it will also endanger the beaches due to pollutants and wastes that will be generated due to the influx of tourists that is why they are seeking the help of the Local Government Unit (LGU) and the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) for proper waste management and disposal in the island.
“Whether may tulay o wala, we will make sure our resorts are clean and hoping that the LGU and other government agencies will help us in the disposal of the wastes and all pollutants. Limitado lang ang magagawa namin. Kailangan tulong tulong lahat, hindi puwede kami lang. Everybody must be player in our protection efforts,” he said.