The volume of passengers and cargoes moving in and out of Panay and Negros Islands has been steadily increasing with the further ease of restrictions amid the improving coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) situation in Western Visayas.
Frank Carbon, chief executive officer of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), said on Monday the increase means the region’s economy is currently “on a roll”.
“(Better) movement of passengers and cargoes are generating thousands of jobs,” he said.
Daily fastcraft trips between cities of Bacolod and Iloilo have already resumed since Oct. 31.
Carbon also cited the recent launch of Starlite Venus, a roll-on, roll-off (roro) vessel directly connecting the ports of Bacolod and Iloilo to Batangas International Seaport.
Meanwhile, the MBCCI is also working with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in helping producers of white shrimps or vannamei boost their production to be able to supply the hotels and restaurants in Metro Manila.
Like sugar, swine and blue crab, the white shrimp industry contributes to the enlargement of the region’s economy and employment generation, Carbon said.
The business leader added the reopening of tourism sites such as Magikland, the first outdoor theme park in the Visayas, located in Silay City, Negros Occidental, is also attracting visitors from other islands.
Carbon urged businesses to reopen their establishments, reinvest, and start generating more jobs and livelihood.
He said the Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank of the Philippines and other financial institutions are now in discussion with the MBCCI on how to finance the economic recovery initiatives of the private sector in the region.
“This is a reflection of better days ahead,” Carbon added. (PNA)