Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, June 27, 2008

New 600-hectare industrial park to rise in Subic

SUBIC BAY, Philippines - A 600-hectare industrial park is expected to rise in Subic, Zambales.

Zambales Governor Amor D. Deloso said that estate developer Imagine Realty Corp. presented the plan to develop a vast idle government property located at Redondo Peninsula in Barangay Cawag, Subic for the setting up of a freeport industrial park.

"Zambales will soon have its own freeport industrial park which will be designed to create more jobs and alleviate poverty in the province," Mr. Deloso said in an interview Thursday.

He explained that the industrial park will be developed into a self-sustaining, industrial, commercial, financial and investment center to generate employment opportunities for the province, and to attract and promote productive foreign investments.

Only non-polluting locators

He clarified, however, that land use would be focused on "sustainable development," with the proposed "mixed-use" of the industrial park limited to light, non-polluting industries.

"The province will not allow heavy or polluting industries such as electronic and garment factories, research and IT training hub, or even call centers," the governor said.

Mr. Deloso explained that Subic town, adjacent to Subic Bay Freeport, has already been declared as part of the Subic Special Economic and Freeport Zone through Republic Act 7227 otherwise known as the Bases Conversion Law.

Imagine Realty Corporation president Roberto Aventajado said in a separate interview that there is good potential of developing the property into an industrial park with a separate seaport and other infrastructure facilities.

Mr. Aventajado, currently the chairman of the Philippine Olympic Committee, has been involved in marketing Subic and Clark as havens for both foreign and local investments.

"Our company is currently in alliance [sic] with international investors that can pursue full development of the Zambales Industrial Park," Mr. Aventajado said.

Feasibility under study

Mr. Aventajado added that the company would finance the cost to conduct a more detailed study and evaluation of the development potential of the industrial park.

He said he expects the feasibility study to be completed within the next 30 days.

"Our proposal would be mutually beneficial, especially for a more progressive economic development of Zambales province," Mr. Aventajado said.

Mr. Aventajado added that as planned, the industrial park would be built near its other project, the 500-hectare Neocove resort, which is scheduled to break ground by this October.

Mr. Aventajado said Neocove will be developed by consortium of South Korean investors with committed investments worth $250 million for the setting-up of an international-grade golf course and resort.

The site of the industrial park is located about 5 kilometers away from $1.6-billion Hanjin Ship Building Center. - Reynaldo M. Garcia, BusinessWorld

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