Improving Ilocandia: Three Big-Ticket Projects in Laoag City

Three years after their groundbreaking ceremony in 2019, Laoag’s “big three” project eyes completion by the end of the year. The projects, namely: Ferdinand E. Marcos Sports Stadium rehabilitation, Provincial Capitol Building expansion, and Dap-ayan Center construction, aim to boost the city’s sustainable development. Furthermore, it is also a move to speed up the recovery of the local economy after the disastrous typhoon in 2018.

At the beginning of the second quarter this 2022, the structure of the Marcos stadium was reportedly at 57% completion. Meanwhile, the provincial capitol and the Dap-ayan Center constructions were at 57.54% and 44.11%, respectively. The construction of the above developments has also been delayed due to the pandemic, resulting in the addition of another year to finish the projects.

Laoag City’s “Big 3” projects

Below are additional information about Laoag City’s big-ticket infrastructure projects.

Rehabilitation of Ferdinand E. Marcos (FEM) stadium

Artist’s perspective of the Marcos Stadium Photo from ilocosnorte.gov.ph
Artist’s perspective of the Marcos Stadium Photo from ilocosnorte.gov.ph

Ferdinand E. Marcos Stadium, or Marcos Stadium, in short, is a football and track stadium. Previously damaged by Typhoon Ompong, the new stadium is undergoing a facelift, including an additional elevation from the road level. Furthermore, it will also include a provision for indoor games in the adjacent old Rizal Park.

Architect William Ti, the consultant for the project, envisions a stadium that is accessible to everyone. In addition to the stadium, the project will also have a training center and a “stadium park.” The athletes’ training center, located in the south wing, will connect the park and the stadium. Ultimately, the overall idea for the project is a village and a “cultural space” where locals can celebrate their festivals.

Provincial Capitol building expansion

Artist’s perspective of the new provincial capitol Photo from ilocosnorte.gov.ph
Artist’s perspective of the new provincial capitol Photo from ilocosnorte.gov.ph

Next on the list of the big-ticket projects is the expansion of the provincial capitol building. The new building’s design highlights the character of Ilocos Norte with sustainability in mind. Furthermore, the project’s Architect, Rex Hofilena, stated that the structure is a heritage building at the core. Accordingly, the design borrows from Ilocano culture and elements of green architecture.

For instance, the new capitol will have a green roof, a facility for harvesting rainwater, solar-powered vent fans, and a vertical garden, among other things. The new building will also have a dome that will serve as a wind tower to bring more natural ventilation into the edifice. In essence, the new capitol is a structure built for the future that carries the heritage of its past.

Dap-ayan Center construction

The new Dap-ayan Center under construction Photo from the Philippine News Agency
The new Dap-ayan Center under construction Photo from the Philippine News Agency

Last on the list is the Dap-ayan center, which is envisioned as a one-stop government office complex. Though Dap-ayan’s design is similar to that of the provincial capitol, the former will be the tallest building in Laoag upon completion. This center is an eight-storey, mixed-use development with basements and offices that will serve as a government center.

How much are these big-ticket projects?

According to the local government of Ilocos Norte’s website, the projects cost around Php 2 billion in total. Breaking these numbers down, half of the total cost is for the Marcos stadium, while Php 640 million went to the provincial capitol expansion. The remaining Php 360 million is for Dap-ayan.

How will these big-ticket projects improve Laoag?

With these new projects, Laoag City positions itself as one of the champions of sustainable development. But sustainability is not a new concept in Ilocandia. It is worth mentioning that Ilocos Norte is home to the Bangui Wind Farm, the first wind-drive powerplant set up by private Danish investors in the locality. This established Ilocos Norte as a landmark in the green-technology movement in the country.

Laoag is a city with many opportunities for economic expansion. That said, these big-ticket projects are meant to energize the local economy after the typhoon and the pandemic devastated the region and its income sources. With these new projects, tourists now have more reason to visit the north, especially Laoag.

As an eco-tourism center, Laoag is home to many tourist spots and world-class accommodations. Furthermore, there are also plans with the rest of the Northwestern Luzon Growth Quadrangle to develop more areas in the region. Lastly, the local government is also hatching plans for an eco-tourism village highlighting Ilocano culture and industries.

All in all, the purpose of these projects is simple: to attain sustainable and equitable growth for the city.

What is in Laoag City?

Ermita Hill in Laoag City Photo from City Government of Laoag
Ermita Hill in Laoag City Photo from City Government of Laoag

Laoag is a third-class component city and the capital of Ilocos Norte. Geographically, Laoag nestles in the northern part of the Philippines and is home to fantastic sand dunes, rock formations, and heritage churches. Laoag is a constant in many tourists’ bucket lists. In fact, tourism is one of the major economic drivers for this historic city.

Tourism in the locality has become so vibrant that the local government has simplified immigration policies to entice more visitors. This eventually earned Laoag its fame as one of the most visited destinations in the region. With the rise of tourism in the city, Laoag is now catching up to develop more commercial establishments and improve infrastructure to sustain growth.

How to get around Laoag City?

Nearly 500 kilometers away from the country’s capital, Laoag is reachable via air and land. The city’s international airport services domestic and international flights to Macau and Guangzhou in China. Often, flights in the city are tourist stops in travel packages.

Similarly, bus company giants also service transport to and from Laoag and other destinations. Locals travel in the city by kalesa, tricycles, jeepneys, or taxis. Mini buses service passengers to Pagudpud and Vigan, among other neighboring localities.

Where to invest in Laoag City?

Camella Laoag Playground with slide for children
Camella Laoag Playground with slide for children

When looking for an investment in Laoag, choose a master-planned development that brings you close to all the best the city has to offer. Consider Camella’s house and lot community in Brgy. Zamboanga, Laoag—only a few minutes away from Laoag International Airport. Camella Laoag offers modern convenience, classic homes, and the vibrance of the local heritage that is preserved in every Ilocano household.

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