TUBA, Benguet – The local government will resume the delayed negotiations with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) for the identification of an area within the municipality as an expansion area for the Baguio-based economic zone considering the influx of interested investors wanting to operate in the economic zone.
Mayor Ignacio Rivera said the local government already complied with the condition imposed by PEZA management with the enactment of its comprehensive land use plan (CLUP) that will serve as the basis in easily ascertaining the potential expansion areas of PEZA.
“We hope we can convince the PEZA management to consider some of the earlier identified areas within the locality as the expansion area of some of its locators because the presence of multi-national locators will definitely contribute in perking up the local economy,” Rivera stressed.
The local chief executive said PEZA officials initially visited the earlier identified sites for the expansion site of the Baguio-based economic zone that is why it will be easier for them to check on lacking requirements that will allow the proposed sites to quality as expansion sites of the existing economic zone for businesses to thrive in the locality.
According to him, aside from generating available employment opportunities for qualified residents, the expansion of the PEZA to any of the identified sites in the town will contribute in providing sustainable sources of livelihood for the people living in the communities around the site as well as galvanize the economic activities in the said area.
Among the identified proposed PEZA expansion sites in the municipality include huge tracks of land in Taloy Sur, San Pascual and Taloy Norte as one of the primordial considerations for the selection of the suitable site is the proximity to national roads and the presence of sufficient supply of water for the use of locators in their round the clock operations.
Earlier, he noted PEZA technical people had been considering vast tracks of land in Tuba as the possible expansion area of the Baguio-based economic zone to help in attracting more locators to operate either in Baguio city or its environs.
Rivera claimed the town’s newly approved land use plan will be presented to the PEZA officials for their assessment and evaluation it this complies with PEZAs stringent standards in the identification of possible expansion areas of its locators.
He admitted the local government heavily relies on mining as its major source of income but it is now trying to venture on other modes of businesses to sustain its classification as a first-class municipality with the projected end of mining operations of the Philex Mining Corporation by 2022, thus, the need for other businesses to thrive to generate sufficient resources that could be used by the municipality in sustaining its economic growth beyond the present administration.