Press Release
February 16, 2016


ILOILO--A proud daughter of Iloilo, presidential race frontrunner Sen. Grace Poe has committed to develop two of the most beautiful islands in the province to boost tourism in the Western Visayas region.

The off-beat charm of Sicogon and Gigantes Islands will surely attract a lot of domestic and foreign tourists, supporting tourism-related industries and creating income opportunities for locals, said Poe.

Sicogon, hailed as the next Boracay, takes pride in its long stretch of white-sand beaches and clear waters.

"Kapag maraming turista na pumunta dito sa inyong lugar, madadagdagan ang inyong trabaho. Kahit mga turistang Pilipino na naghahanap ng magagandang lugar, katulad nga ng Sicogon na sinasabi nila ay pangalawang Boracay, sapagkat ang Boracay nga ay punong-puno na, kapag nakita nila kung gaano kaganda dito, mas marami pang pupunta dito," Poe said during a speech in Carles, Iloilo, where Sicogon is located.

Gigantes, located off the coast of Carles and Estancia towns in the northeastern part of Iloilo, can be a stopover point for international cruise ships.

"Alam mo, ang isang cruise ship, naglalaman 'yan ng libo-libong mga tao. Kung dalawang libo, limang libo, akalain mo yung turismo? Akalain mo yung perang kikitain ng mga tiga-Iloilo? Kaya hindi ko kayo talaga kakalimutan. 'Pag ako'y nabigyan ng pagkakataon, mayroon kayong kakampi sa Malacañang," Poe added during an interview with the local Bombo Radyo.

A remote group of islands, Gigantes is famous for its fine beaches, rock formations, limestone cliffs and caves. The island is also abundant in fresh seafood, making it the "scallop capital" of the Philippines.

Poe said development of these islands must be supported with quality and climate-resilient infrastructure. She is also supporting the planned construction of the Iloilo-Guimaras-Negros Bridge.

"Ang daming trabahong malilikha 'pag nag-umpisa tayo ng bridge. Within two to three years, tapos na 'yan. So dapat pag-upong pag-upo pa lang, 'yan ang priority ko. Mayroon akong infrastructure room doon sa Malacañang kung saan kasama ang bridge na 'yan bilang isang priority," said Poe, the top choice for president according to recent voters' surveys.

Poe is in Iloilo for a campaign rally with her running mate Sen. Chiz Escudero, who also leads vice-presidential preference surveys, and the senatorial candidates under the coalition "Partido Galing at Puso." Poe's mother, veteran actress Susan Roces, also joined her in the campaign trail.

Poe garnered 121,783 votes in Iloilo City, finishing first in the 2013 senatorial race. Iloilo is Poe's known birthplace after being abandoned and found in a church in Jaro in 1968.

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