SANTA ANA, Cagayan: In a move to expand the jurisdiction of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), a district representative in the province is filing a bill to amend the Cagayan Special Economic Zone Act of 1995 to include other northern municipalities.
Rep. Ramos Nolasco of Cagayan’s 1st congressional district said he already talked to CEZA officials who he will work on expansion of the zone’s territorial jurisdiction of the Ecozone.
CEZA, whose administration office is in the coastal town of Santa Ana, is a government-owned and controlled corporation established through Republic Act 7922 or the Cagayan Special Economic Zone Act of 1995.
It was mandated to manage the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport and spur economic growth through investment promotions in the area including the islands of Fuga, Barit and Mabbag in Aparri town.
Nolasco said that under the proposed bill, the coverage of CEZA will extend to other northern municipalities such as the coastal towns of Gonzaga, Santa Teresita, Abulug, Pamplona, Sanchez Mira and Claveria that will also have share in the financial support from the national government.
He added that the bulk of tourism and Department of Public Works and Highways projects go to Santa Ana because of CEZA.
Meanwhile, Secretary Raul Lambino, CEZA administrator and chief executive officer, said he also requested some members of congress to create the Greater Cagayan Advanced Economic Zone and Freeport (GCAEZF).
“The creation of GCAEZF is at par with the development plans we are about to implement for the Ecozone,”
Lambino said, adding they are now working on the proposed construction of a six-lane expressway linking Cagayan North International Airport (CNIA) in Lal-lo town to Port Irene here and from Lal-lo town to Tuguegarao City.
“We are eying a better land transportation facility with this project that will eventually connect it to the old seaports in Aparri and Claveria towns,” he added.
An ongoing study may also possibly lead to the establishment of a parallel railway system for passengers and transport of goods and other commodities coming to and from the Ecozone.
Lambino said they are looking to expand the CNIA which will open this month with the first commercial flight from Macau.
“We will dredge the Cagayan River where passenger and cargo vessels can dock and navigate then we will build huge industrial estates in Aparri and Claveria towns,” he added.
He said investors from Malaysia, US, China, Europe and Australia have already signified their interest to move to CEZA as locators.
“Our goal is to craft and develop the first economic zone in Asia that will regulate, license and propagate international financial technology companies,” Lambino pointed out, envisioning the development of the Ecozone into the premier Financial Technology hub in Asia.