ILOILO CITY — The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has given its endorsement for the proposed 6.2-hectare (ha) industrial zone in the town of Dumangas, about 26 kilometers northeast of Iloilo City.
Mayor Rolando B. Distura said the area, which is behind Dumangas port, will be called the Dumangas Agro-Industrial Zone (DAIZ).
“It is just one step to the presidential proclamation. I am now in the stage of complying (with) all the other needed requirements requested by the National Economic and Development Authority to be passed to the Office of the President for proclamation,” Mr. Distura said.
Mr. Distura said the local government is optimistic that the proclamation will be made before President Benigno S. C. Aquino III steps down from office at midyear.
The DAIZ will include a 50-hectare area along the coastal road, which will serve as container yard, warehouse, and agro-industrial building.
Mr. Distura said three foreign parties have so far indicated interest in the zone.
“First was the Korean Group Samsung. Second, the consul general of China also committed to bring investors here. Third, a Japanese investor also wants to build dry docking and shipbuilding facilities,” he said.
The mayor said they were able to secure the PEZA endorsement because the town had the required infrastructure and power and water supply.
“We are accessible via coastal road that is already four lanes and via sea as we have a good port, the biggest in Western Visayas. We will be getting power from the 135-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Concepcion. For water supply, we have signed an agreement with a Korean-Chinese company which will provide us 10 million liters a day,” he said.
The economic zone is expected to generate employment as well as local government income that will pave the way for the town’s conversion into a city.
“Not only can Ilonggos benefit from it but having 25 boat trips to Bacolod daily, the people in Negros Occidental can also come here and work,” Mr. Distura said.