REP. Ramon “Red” Durano IV (Cebu, 5th district) filed last week two House bills calling for the rehabilitation, improvement, and modernization of the Camotes Airport in San Francisco and the construction of a roll-on-roll-off (roro) ferry landing in Pilar.

House Bills 2667 and 2668 were filed before the 15th Congress during its regular session last week.

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Durano said the two bills aim to spread development in the islands’ communities and to help spur economic activities and livelihood among its people.

“The construction of roll on-roll off (roro) ports and establishment of airports are very encouraging endeavors in uplifting rural economies,” Durano said.

The four towns of the Camotes group of islands—San Francisco, Poro, Tudela, and Pilar—were described by the Department of Tourism as the “new tourist destination in the Visayas” because of their pristine beaches and the abundance of marine resources.

However, Durano said the long isolation and slow development of infrastructure in these four towns resulted in the slow growth of its economies, prompting its people to migrate to neighboring islands like Cebu and Leyte.

“With the establishment of roro ports in the towns of Poro and San Francisco, it will slowly gain ground in developing its economy. Agricultural products can now be moved easily to mainland Cebu while local and foreign tourists can discover the island’s scenic beauty,” he said.

Durano said that in the late 1980s, efforts to attract investment to Camotes prompted the Cebu Provincial Government to start the construction and development of the Camotes Airstrip in San Francisco. The development, however, was left unattended for a long time.

“Rehabilitation and improvement of the airstrip are needed to encourage more investors and tourists to come to Camotes,” he said.