Secretary Escaño, who took his oath as the new CEZA chief last August 19, welcomed the uniformed personnel on October 5 held at CEZA Corporate Center in Sta. Ana, and another greet-and-meet with various regional agencies at the CEZA Tuguegarao office the following day.
Among the regional agencies were the Philippine Navy, Philippine Marine Corps, Cagayan Police Provincial Office, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Philippine National Police, Coast Guard Sub-Station, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Human Settlement and Urban Development (DHSUD), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
During the event, the uniformed personnel presented an overview of their functions, missions, and accomplishments, as well as their ability to provide and maintain peace and order inside Cagayan Freeport. Also, regional agencies outlined their operations, plans and programs, including their requests and recommendations to CEZA to develop mutually beneficial agreements and action plans.
The DOT, for instance, requested to reopen the Cagayan North International Airport (CNIA) for chartered flights to support the tourism launched this year entitled Sta. Ana, Your Adventure Paradise.
Sec. Escaño, as the sitting chairman of the CNIA, vowed to support the DOT’s request, as he assured that CEZA will initiate marketing and investment initiatives to attract local and foreign investors in the hotel and resort sector to address the issues over high rates of hotel accommodation within Freeport.
Meanwhile, the DTI requested the full operation of Port Irene as the key to the development of Northern Luzon and to becoming a trading hub in East Asia. The agency also requested continued cooperation with CEZA for economic growth and development throughout Northern Luzon.
Currently, one of CEZA’s priority projects is the development of Port Irene in Barangay Casambalangan. With the new administration, CEZA is refocusing the Cagayan Freeport to its original purpose of transshipment hub through Port Irene.
Sec. Escaño said the expansion of the port and the installation of additional piers will generate income for CEZA that will surely strengthen CEZA’s contribution to the national government.
The secretary’s back-to-back meet-and-greet with the regional agencies in Cagayan demonstrates the importance the CEZA places on ties with the province, particularly in Santa Ana where the Cagayan Freeport is located.
He thanked the uniformed personnel and regional directors who took the time to meet and greet him and reaffirmed CEZA’s commitment to supporting their efforts for the benefit of the people of Cagayan and its neighboring areas.
Moreover, Sec. Escaño asked them for collaboration and convergence partnership in the CEZA’s priority programs and projects under his administration.
“We at CEZA, envision a modern, sustainable, and inclusive society and we will achieve it for the benefit of all Cagayanos,” he said.
At the end of the meeting, invited participants had separate photo ops with the new CEZA administrator to show solidarity in strengthening their partnership with CEZA.