The memorandum of understanding entered into by the city government of Sagay and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority Wednesday to establish the expanded Northern Negros Agro-Industrial Export Processing Zone (NNAIEPZ), is the first-of-its-kind in the country between PEZA and a local government, a press release from the city said.
This was highlighted in the messages of PEZA director general Charito Plaza and Mayor Alfredo Marañon III during the virtual signing of the five-page MOU at the Sagay City Sangguniang Panlungsod Session Hall, the press release said.
Officials of the second congressional district, led by Rep. Leo Rafael Cueva, Sagay City Vice Mayor Narwin Javelosa, mayors Salvador Escalante Jr. of Cadiz City and Manuel Escalante of Manapla town, and former Cadiz City mayor Patrick Escalante, a member of the CASAMA Development Alliance executive board, attended the ceremony to support the establishment of the NNAIEPZ that will be co-developed by PEZA and Sagay at the 1,600,000 square-meter (160 hectares) property owned by the LGU in Barangay Paraiso.
The new area, that awaits another Presidential Proclamation, is on top of the 200,000 square-meter (20 hectares) adjoining property declared an ecozone in 2008 when former governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. was mayor of Sagay, the press release said.
The former governor secured a Presidential Proclamation covering the original export processing zone about 12 years ago, it added.
In her speech, Plaza, pointed out that the partnership between PEZA and Sagay is a result of institutions that are “thinking global but acting local” in a bid to pursue countryside growth.
Mayor Marañon recalled that paper works, documentation, and completion of requirements started in February last year.
Cueva, the prime mover behind the CASAMA Development Alliance that grouped together the LGUs in the Second District – Cadiz, Sagay and Manapla – to pursue a common road map for development, commended the teamwork between Plaza and Marañon, the press release said.
Mayor Escalante of Manapla said the agreement between PEZA and Sagay sent a very encouraging signal as his LGU, which is positioning itself as a medical tourism destination, is also finalizing paper works for its own economic zone on a 20-hectare area.
Cadiz City, Sagay’s next-door neighbor, is similarly upbeat as Mayor Escalante Jr. disclosed that the local government is also getting a PEZA accreditation for its seaside economic zone with an initial area of 27 hectares.
He said the advantage of the Second District is the availability of land, natural resources, renewable energy sources, existing port facilities, and the estimated combined workforce of 220,000 people from the whole district, the press release further said.*