By: Roy Stephen C. Canivel (Phil Daily Inq.) May 28,2018

The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza) plans to ask P14 billion from the national government’s 2019 budget to fund expenses such as a feasibility study for a proposed fast railway train system.

Ceza Administrator Raul Lambino told reporters on the sidelines of an investment forum last week that the fund should have been released two decades ago. The newly appointed Ceza head, however, could not cite the factors behind the delay.

Under its charter, Ceza was supposed to be capitalized at P20 billion. Lambino said that only around P5 billion had been released so far and this was used to build a breakwater in the Port of Irene. The breakwater was damaged in 2015 by a typhoon even before completion.

“We really need a feasibility study and a master plan. That’s why we’re asking the national government for their equity worth P14 billion, [for] the acquisition of the right of way, [among other things],” he said.