After months of preparation and planning, work crews will break ground this month for the construction simultaneously of the CEZA Corporate Center and Commercial Center on an 11-hectare property, dubbed the CEZA Global City, that opens into a stunning view of Santa Ana’s white sand beaches in Cagayan.
Secretary Raul L. Lambino, now on his second full year as Cagayan Economic Zone Authority Administrator and CEO, said the two buildings would be ready for occupancy by early next year, filling the demand for offices of the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport’s first 26 Fintech (Financial Technology) principal licensees.
Local commercial banks and a fresh batch of business locators in the tourism and manufacturing sectors are also setting up offices in the Corporate and Commercial Centers.
The planned improvement and rehabilitation of Port Irene also gets under way, Lambino said, with the construction of six new warehouses amid rising demand for space by port users importing construction materials and supplies and a variety of loose cargoes.
Already, a Chinese company, named CAGWEI, finished the construction of its paper-recycling plant that could turn in tons of regular and special papers for domestic use and for export to several countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
Lambino said CEZA would also seek authority from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and work with the local government unit and various people’s organizations to begin development of the Nangaramoan Eco-Tourism Park and the Palaui Island Eco-Tourism Park.
Both parks have been strongly endorsed to boost tourism in Santa Ana and nearby Palaui Island with emphasis on their unspoiled natural beauty.
“We have to protect and preserve these natural tourism havens from commercial abuse,” Lambino said. “We will allow Santa Ana and Palaui Island to breathe, not to be choked by exploitation.”
He said the agency will pursue its goal of development but “will not sacrifice the pristine environment for unplanned and unregulated tourism growth.”
Palaui Island is located in the northwestern portion of Santa Ana where the existing RoRo Port is currently undergoing the construction of its expanded causeway and wharf to service not only inter-island and fishing vessels but foreign cruise ships as well later.
Palaui boasts of its great tourism destinations, including the Spanish-era Cape Engano Lighthouse. It is home to 21 commercial species of fish, including the blue-fin tuna, and endowed with glorious white sand beaches, tagged by CNN Travel as one of the top 10 beaches of the world and No. 1 in Southeast Asia.
The proposed Nangaramoan Eco-Tourism Park, sandwiched between the famous Pozo Robo and Aguib beaches, will service local tourists and foreign backpackers who could enjoy a year-round warm sea water and powdery white sand beaches.
It is located in the northeastern part of Santa overlooking the vast Pacific Ocean. It has a large track of coral reefs, a long stretch of white sands, a small plain and a mountain with rugged terrain as backdrop.
Lambino said CEZA will manage the Nangaramoan Park in coordination with DENR and the local government unit and in tandem with the local community that would be also tapped to operate the various facilities, including an infinity pool, a canopy walk, stilt cabanas and an extended zip line.
Aside from eco-tourism, Lambino said CEZA new advocacy is designed to pioneer medical tourism, facilitate private investments and develop retirement villages and aligned tourism facilities, putting in place best practices, international compliance, quality standards, building codes and environmental safeguards.
Lambino said he has commissioned a local company to prepare a master development plan of the entire 54, 000-hectare special economic zone and Freeport as well as feasibility studies, including financial viability, for the different projects approved by the CEZA board.
These include the construction of the proposed CEZA Convention Center and Sports Complex, the CEZA Coastal Boulevard, the CEZA Fintech Hub and Duty Free Mall, the CEZA Power and Water Plants, the CEZA Cyberpark and the CEZA Programmatic Environmental Impact and Assessment Project.