Man-made islands in Panglao Bohol
JESSE EDEP, GMA News
02/21/2011 | 11:47 AM
|Patterned after the luxurious Palm Islands in Dubai, the proposed
Panglao Oasis Islands in the waters off Bohol are envisioned as
perfectly built enclaves that will accommodate upscale tourists.
"These islands are presenting a solution to boost tourist arrivals
and double the paltry revenue of the country’s tourism industry,"
Panglao Mayor Benedicto Alcala told GMA News Online in an interview.
Philippine tourism receipts are currently estimated at $2.25 billion
a year, Department of Tourism (DOT) records show.
The project could also open up opportunities for both domestic and
foreign investors, Alcala said. "There is a limitless possibility of
investments that would pour into the country," he added.
The proponent, Oasis Leisure Islands Development Inc. based in
Bohol’s capital city of Tagbilaran, intends to create five
interconnected islands off the seas of Panglao for the reclamation
|The first island is for commercial and recreational facilities such
as convention centers, hotels, and casinos, said lawyer and Oasis
spokesperson Carlos Castillo. “We hope to upstage Macau’s
development in this island," he said.
Schools, spas, and residential areas are planned for the second
island, Castillo said.
The third island, he said, would house commercial establishments
like boutique hotels, souvenir shops, dive shops, and theme parks.
Apartment complexes for employees of the tourism facilities in the
islands will also be located in the island, described in the project
profile as a "master-planned Boracay."
A greater part of the fourth island would be developed as a nature
park, with the remaining area utilized for camping and fishing
grounds, Castillo said.
Finally, the fifth island would be for “those interested in owning a
piece of paradise," said Castillo.
The provincial government of Bohol entered into a joint venture
agreement with the company in June last year for the reclamation
project, said Castillo, who refused to provide financial details
about the proposal.
The Panglao Oasis Islands, according to the project profile obtained
by GMA News Online, will “harness and sustain" Bohol’s vast tourism
In 2009, a total of 313,317 tourists visited Bohol, according to DOT
data. The provincial government is pursuing major transport
infrastructure projects, including the Circumferential Roads and
Panglao-Bohol International Airport, to cater to the expected
exponential increase in the influx of tourists from all over the
The Panglao Oasis Islands proposal has found a major ally in Mayor
Alcala, who is looking at the “building of trust between the public
and private sectors" to realize the project. "It can be challenging…
but when done correctly, such a partnership can have world-changing
results," he said.
Also called land-filling, land reclamation has been employed by many
countries to develop infrastructure and agricultural areas in places
that are already crowded.
Mayor Alcala cited the examples of Japan, where boatloads of dirt
and rock were hauled from a nearby mountain and dumped into Osaka
Bay to create an island for the new Kansai international airport,
and Singapore, which extended its terrestrial territory into the
shallow waters around its main island with the help of the private
He described the creation of man-made islands as "a dream project
that will not only address the difficulty in acquiring property for
investments in Panglao, but will also put Bohol and the country at
the forefront of the international tourism landscape."