Today, when you step into picturesque Ilocos Sur, it is like traveling back in time. In Vigan, one can’t help but marvel at the Spanish colonial houses, old stone churches and streets that are uniquely Hispanic in character. Undoubtedly, this province of the north brings pride to the Philippines.
Located on the western coast of Northern Luzon, Ilocos Sur is bounded by equally beautiful destinations, such as Ilocos Norte, Abra, Mountain Province, Benguet, La Union and the West Philippine Sea. Known as the Heart of Ilocandia, this natural attraction needs better and improved transport facilities to link it not only to other provinces and other destinations, but also to bridge its colorful past with modern times.
To help boost tourism and economic growth in the province, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) believes that investing in infrastructure is crucial. Aside from road transport, which is the most popular way to reach the province, air and sea transportation are also getting their much-needed boosts.
This week, DoTr Secretary Art Tugade, together with Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago, will lead the inauguration of the Port of Salomague, Ilocos Sur’s Permanent Port of Entry, in the municipality of Cabugao.
The Salomague Port has been expanded and upgraded. Among the development works finished in the seaport are the construction of its PC Platform Back-Up Area and RC Pier Extension. With the development works now complete, Salomague Port is expected to attract more tourists with its commercial cruise terminal.
Moreover, even before the upgraded port becomes operational, it has already benefitted 71 local residents who were hired during its construction phase. More job opportunities are expected once the port becomes fully operational.
Aside from Salomague Port, the DoTr has also completed other transport infrastructure projects in Ilocos Sur. In the Aviation sector, the construction of the two Bay Fire Station and extension of runway at Vigan Airport were completed in 2019 and 2021, respectively. Meanwhile, in the Maritime Sector, three more seaport projects were previously completed, including the port improvement project in Salomague Port, which was completed in 2018; the rehabilitation of San Esteban Port; and the construction of a fish landing in Santa Catalina Port.
Soon, the DoTr Aviation and Maritime sectors will finish other vital infrastructure projects in the province. To date, construction works are ongoing for various development projects in Vigan Airport located in the province’s capital.
Today, as they say, history is alive in Ilocos Sur. But with development projects to be completed soon, the future is even brighter for this beautiful northern province.
As mobility and connectivity continue to improve, the link between Ilocos Sur’s past and its progressive future is assured, steady and firm.