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CEZA allots P426M to modernize infrastructure in Cagayan Freeport

By: Othel V. Campos

The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority will continue the construction and development of modern infrastructure facilities at the Cagayan Freeport to address the requirements of financial technology investors, an official said Tuesday.

CEZA chief executive Raul Lambino said the initial investment for construction projects would reach P426 million, “which I believe is worth the cost since cryptocurrency is hitting new highs globally.”

“We have to believe in the power of innovative ideas. Cryptocurrency is one such,” he said.

Lambino cited a report by the New York Times that Tesla “purchased $1.5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency, as part of an initiative begun last month to invest in alternative assets like digital currencies and gold bullion.”

Tesla, according to the report, is expected to begin accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment “in the near future.”

Lambino said the report would definitely boost the viability of CEZA as the Philippine fintech capital.  He said technology would be the main driver of the development of the Cagayan Freeport.

Lambino noted that Bitcoin, the world’s most-traded cryptocurrency, posted a new all-time high of $47,513.57 on Monday following Tesla’s announcement.

There are about 25 fintech companies registered as principal licensees in CEZA that are expected to begin their offshore operations from Cagayan Freeport soon amid the increase in the value of cryptocurrencies traded in the world market.

CEZA is putting up a three-story commercial building and another three-story corporate center that have a combined 12,000 square meters of business offices for lease.

The construction of other facilities like condominiums and business offices are also ongoing.

These include the four-hectare Consolidated Luzon Business Solutions Inc.’s mixed-use development, the 21-hectare Alpha Palauig complex and the 300-hectare international airport proposed by Foremost Cagayan Leisure and Resorts Corp.

Lambino said CEZA would immediately also start the development of the proposed 15-hectare Global City once the comprehensive land use plan of the town of Santa Ana was approved by the provincial government of Cagayan.

CEZA is also finalizing the engineering plans for the initial development of the 203-hectare Mapurao township in partnership with CEZA’s first major locator, First Cagayan Leisure and Resorts Corp. and other locators in the Freeport.

Port Irene is also undergoing improvement and expansion.

Photo by: Manila Standard


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