By: Philippine Daily Inquirer – July 27, 2018

The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza) has earned more than P200 million from offshore financial technology (Fintech) firms to raise its total revenues to at least P340 million by the end of the second quarter of the year.

The income exceeded 2017 revenue by more than 50 percent, according to Ceza administrator and chief executive officer Raul Lambino in a press statement.

Lambino said the interest expressed by offshore companies in locating in Ceza “surpassed all our expectations.”

He said the income from Fintech firms was from application and license fees.

Ceza stood to earn at least P3.9 billion from an initial batch of 25 licensees, including investment commitments of $1 million each, Lambino said.

Aside from giving Ceza a new source of income, Lambino said Fintech operations would also create an initial 20,000 jobs.

At least 12 of 17 Fintech and offshore virtual currency firms, led by Golden Millenial Quickpay, had already fully paid their application and license fees.

Lambino, who is also presidential adviser for Northern Luzon, said Ceza would authorize principal licensees to operate in offices in Metro Manila but would have to course through all trading transactions through LR Data, a cyberpark in Sta. Ana, Cagayan.

Fintech firms would rise on a 10-hectare land that would be developed as a Fintech hub that would rival the best in Asia, Lambino said.

Other firms that had already paid fees to operate in Ceza were Formosa Financial Holdings, Sino-Phil Economic Zone Agency Development and Management Corp., Asia-Pacific International Ltd, Hong Kong Yuen Shing-Hong Ltd., Tanzer Inc. and Rare Earth, Lambino said.