By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 1, 2015 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Parañaque City is aiming to be the country’s top tourist and entertainment destination with the rise of numerous world-class hotel resorts and leisure facilities in the area, its top executive said.
Mayor Edwin Olivarez said Parañaque will now be called “Bay City,” a new label that aims to transform the city into a tourist-friendly place.
“We are confident that our new nickname, the Bay City, will make Parañaque not only the country’s top tourist and entertainment destination but also one of the best in the whole Asia-Pacific region as well,” he said.
He attributed Parañaque’s economic surge partly to huge developments in Pagcor Entertainment City, a 100-hectare mixed-use complex along Manila Bay that features world-class casinos, hotels, shopping and leisure destinations, theaters and marinas, among others.
The sprawling Entertainment City has been attracting more investors eager to take advantage of increasing tourist traffic, both domestic and international.
Last year, Parañaque was adjudged the country’s most competitive city in terms of economic dynamism by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC). Just recently, the council declared the city among the top three most economically dynamic urbanized cities in the Philippines, Olivarez said.
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In terms of business registration, Olivarez said there has been a substantial increase in the number of new business registration last year, reaching 2,325, while renewal was at 17,122 for a total of 19,447 business establishments operating in the city.
At the Entertainment City, the first to open was Solaire Resorts and Casino, followed by City of Dreams Manila.
Two others are in the advanced construction stages, namely Aseana City and the Manila Bay Resorts, a 44-hectare integrated casino-resort project composed of an indoor beach club, entertainment facilities, retain and restaurants.
Olivarez said property giant Ayala Land Inc. would also build a huge shopping mall complex, a business process outsourcing center and a hotel within a nine-hectare property adjacent to Pagcor Entertainment City.
The property is located right across the new City of Dreams Manila, a casino and hotel complex owned by the SM Group in partnership with Melco Crown of Macau.
Furthermore, according to Olivarez, they are also expecting to generate new jobs and higher tax collection in the BPO sector as three SM malls in Parañaque – SM Sucat, SM Bicutan and SM BF Homes – are all planning to open BPO centers that would need 5,000 workers each.
He added aside from the hectic pace of development at Entertainment City, other major infrastructure projects that will complement the tourism destination are also underway, including NAIA Skyway Phase 2 and the extension of the LRT Line 1 to Cavite.