MORE infrastructure projects are in store for San Remigio town, including a new commercial center, aimed at bolstering economic activities in northern Cebu.
Mayor Alfonso “Al” Pestolante told SunStar Cebu on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024, that a new public market and a new educational institution will be built in the commercial center as part of their strategy to establish the town’s new economic hub in Barangay Poblacion.
He said the three-hectare project aims to enable more businesses to sprout in the town, translating to more jobs for residents so that they will no longer need to go far for work.
Interviewed on the sidelines of the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo Northern Escapade 2024, which made a stop in his town, Pestolante said they are still finalizing these plans, which also include the creation of their first public plaza since the town’s establishment 160 years ago, as part of the new town center.
Aside from the public market, school and plaza, Pestolante revealed that a sports oval for the public would also be built in the commercial center in Poblacion.
“Our economic activities will be there. It will become the main trade center or commercial center of our town,” he said.
He added that the current public market, once abandoned, will be transformed into a commercial building which will be open for lease to businesses.
Pestolante said aside from prioritizing economic and tourism projects, the town also prioritizes education with its plan to open a college campus in the area.
Although there is already a Cebu Technological University (CTU) campus in the town’s Barangay Tambongon, he said it is far from the town’s metropolis in Poblacion.
He also said the university is just an extension campus of CTU Daanbantayan.
Florence Faith Tamboboy, 23, said she would welcome the construction of a new college campus in Poblacion, for it will cater to more students since it will be located at the town center.
“The current campus we have is quite far for other students. The transportation is really a problem for some, especially for students who are taking night classes,” she said.
Pestolante said the creation of a new public plaza, whose budget he did not specify, is already moving closer to reality.
“Actually, we did not come up with a lump-sum budget. But what we really want to achieve is to have a plaza that is suitable to residents of San Remigio and to tourists,” he said.
He acknowledged that it will be a long-range development, but they are determined to finish it this year.
Pestolante said they have already prepared the land where it will be established by putting up the basic foundations of the structure.
He said it will be located at the back of the town’s sports complex and evacuation center in Poblacion. It will be adjacent to the soon-to-rise public market and college campus.
Last year, Pestolante told SunStar Cebu that among the towns and cities in Cebu Province, San Remigio was the only town that had yet to have its own public plaza.
San Remigio has approved a P263 million annual budget for 2024, with one of the biggest sources being its local income, which averages about P70 million annually.
This year’s annual budget is higher than the 2023 budget, which was only around P240 million.
Pestolante said its seaport and other commercial establishments, including beach resorts, have contributed well to the municipality’s income.
Thus, in return, Pestolante said a large chunk of its annual budget will go toward environmental protection developments.
The San Remigio seaport caters to ships from Bantayan town to its northwest and Masbate in the Bicol Region to its north.
As for the resorts, Pestolante said there are more than 20 resorts in San Remigio sitting near its shoreline, with more businessmen applying for permits to build hotels and resorts in the town.
“Our tourism is quite booming,” said Pestolante.
San Remigio is a third-class municipality located on the northwest seaboard of Cebu province. It is 108 kilometers, or 67 miles, away from Cebu City.
As of the 2020 census of the Philippine Statistics Office, around 65,744 people lived there.
The town is divided into 27 barangays.