Ceza seeking P10-billion worth of investments to improve infra

By: Othel V. Campos – May 22, 2108

The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority said it needs another P10 billion worth of investments to modernize the facilities at Port of Irene.

Ceza president and chief executive Raul Lambino cited the need to accelerate improvements at the seaport and airport to realize Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport’s massive potential for revenue and jobs generation.

“We’re reviewing the master plan and existing studies made by the previous administration. For the airport we’re not planning on spending further Ceza money since we have a private partner for this,” Lambino said during the First Ceza Investment Summit in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

He said the dredging of Port Irene alone would cost about P2 billion, based on a contract with a Korean group. The construction of more wharves and piers would require another P3 billion.

Lambino said P5 billion would be needed to construct a second breakwater after the first was partially destroyed.

He said so far, the Freeport spent about P6.9 billion for infrastructure, with the breakwater accounting for the biggest share at P5.4 billion, followed by the airport at P1.5 billion.

Lambino said for the airport project, the plan was to put up an additional taxi way or another strip of runway to make it a world-class international airport that could cater to large commercial planes.

The airport currently serves international tourists who arrive via chartered flights from Macau and Hong Kong and domestic tourists who come via Clark International Airport.

Lambino said Ceza received proposals to develop an airport terminal from Chinese and Hong Kong groups.  He said that once upgraded, the terminal could accommodate about 1,500 to 2,000 travelers each day.

Ceza expects to generate at least P283 million in revenue this year, up from P234 million in 2017. First-quarter revenue surged 76.6 percent to P86.6 billion from P48.98 million a year ago.

Lambino said this was due to the increase in fees collected from locators, particularly online gaming companies.