SANTA ANA, Cagayan: Additional funding of at least P891 million was has been approved for the continued development of Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) here.
“This is the agency’s outlay for this year which is exclusively for the continued development of the special economic zone and freeport in Cagayan,” said Joyce Jayme, CEZA public information chief.
Jayme said the largest piece of this year’s budget pie will go to the “dredging or deepening” of the navigational channel at Port Irene.
“This is for the purpose of accommodating larger vessels and to meet international port standards,” she said.
According to the regional office of the National Economic and Development Authority in Tuguegarao City, Port Irene is one of their flagship projects to sustain the CEZA’s economic gains not only for the Cagayan Valley but for the country.
Based in Santa Ana town in Cagayan, the CEZA is a government-owned and -controlled corporation under the President’s office. Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile who hails from Gonzaga, a neighboring town, authored the law that created it.
Created by virtue of Republic Act 7922 or the Cagayan Special Economic Zone Act of 1995 during the Ramos administration, CEZA also now operates Port Irene.
Recently, Sen. Miriam Santiago, Enrile’s political adversary, appealed to the Palace to veto the appropriation but the President went on to retain the P891-million funding for CEZA’s development in the 2014 national budget.
“Our books of operations have always been open to anyone,” Jayme said.