TUBA, Benguet – The municipal government has initially identified a 50-hectare land in one of the town’s thirteen barangays as a potential site for the expansion of the Baguio-based Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to help boost the growth and development of the locality.
Mayor Ignacio Rivera said the actual location of the site remains confidential until such time that PEZA officials shall have inspected the site and the appropriate recommendations shall have been submitted to the local government for consideration.
“It will be PEZA management that will make the announcement if the proposed expansion site would suit their requirements. The area is between the mountainous and flat terrains of the locality that is why we are confident that it might be considered for the expansion of the economic zone operations,” Rivera stressed.
The local chief executive claimed there are options for the proposed PEZA expansion site but the area found to be the most feasible one is the 50-hectare land in one of the barangays.
According to him, if the PEZA expansion in the locality comes into fruition, the locators can provide employment opportunities for qualified local residents, increase sources of livelihood and boost economic development that will improve the status of the municipality.
Rivera disclosed based on the initial assessment of experts, the proposed PEZA expansion site might qualify for the expansion site considering that there is an independent source of potable water for locators and the area is near various national roads to ensure the speedy delivery of products to their intended markets.
Earlier, Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan announced that PEZA is currently looking for a 75 to 100-hectare land in the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) area for its expansion site due to the enormous growth of locators needing sufficient spaces for their operations.
Under the PEZA law, local governments hosting the economic zone will be entitled to a 40-percent share of the gross receipts to be directly remitted to the host communities.
Previously, local governments hosting the PEZA operations had to await for long periods of time before their share from the PEZA operations was released by the national government as locators directly remit to the national government their full tax share before it is divided among the host communities through their internal revenue allotment.
Rivera remains optimistic that PEZA will consider Tuba as its expansion area because of the availability of the required land area, accessibility to major infrastructures and the abundant supply of potable water among other major requirements to help boost the overall development of the municipality.