City Councilor Shandee Theresa Llido-Pestaño. (Photo courtesy of the city government)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The city government will push through this year's implementation of priority tourism infrastructure projects despite the continuing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

City Councilor Shandee Theresa Llido-Pestaño, chair of the committee on tourism, culture and arts, said Tuesday the preparatory works are ongoing for two major projects -- the PHP21 million Queen Tuna Park project and the PHP26 million pocket parks project.

These initiatives, she said, aim to further develop the tourism sites in various barangays here.

“We are only waiting for the completion of the program of work for the Queen Tuna Park project by the City Engineer’s Office,” Pestaño said in a report.

The Queen Tuna Park project, covering a stretch of the beach front of Barangay Dadiangas South here, aims to improve its amenities and features of the existing facility.

Formerly known as Lion’s Beach, the 31,715-square meter park was included in the city’s priority development sites for tourism.

For the pocket parks project, Pestaño said at least nine sites have already been identified for development through the assistance of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP).

The UAP team, led by architect Michael Ang, has been assisting the local government with the needed estimates and design of the projects. It is currently working on the development of the 26 barangay icons and targeting to prepare all the sites for the pocket parks before the end of the year.

Pestaño, who earlier conducted a virtual consultation regarding the status of the city’s tourism infrastructure projects, said the other lined-up projects are the improvement of the inland portion of the Pioneer's Park in Barangay Dadiangas West.

She said a tri-people monument and four billboards are being put up at the park, which was the landing site of the city’s first batch of settlers in 1939 led by Gen. Paulino Santos.

Pestaño said her committee will hold a separate consultation for the development of the city’s sisterhood lane.

The City Council, through Ordinance No. 17, designated last year the entire stretch of the Pioneer Avenue center island at the city proper as the sisterhood lane. The flags and banners of its 10 sister cities will be hoisted at the site to honor their contributions to the area’s development.

The city’s government has existing sisterhood ties with Shantou City in China; Hadano City in Japan; Katherine town in Northern Territory, Australia; Manado, Indonesia; Jersey City in New Jersey, United States; Quezon City; Naga City; Bacolod City; Iloilo City; and Makati City. (PNA)