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CEZA tax payments rise as fintech lifts revenue

By: The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) has paid P83.32 million worth of taxes to the Bureau of Internal Revenue for the nine months to September this year, reversing from last year’s loss.

In a statement, CEZA administrator and chief executive officer Raul Lambino said the agency incurred a net loss of P64.93 million last year after losing major revenues from online gaming.

CEZA attributed the turnaround this year from its move to encourage blockchain firms to set up operations in the country.

“The idea of setting up the first cryptocurrency and blockchain technology center in the country has paid off handsomely,” Lambino said.

CEZA’s revenues hit a record high of P518.30 million in the January to September period this year, 212 percent higher than the P166.34 million in the same period last year.

While CEZA’s revenues got a boost from robust collections from overseas virtual currency exchanges and blockchain firms, Lambino said the agency would also want to encourage investments for other projects in the economic zone.
“Growth in the economic zone will be investment-driven,” he said.

Earlier, Chinese firm Shanghai Jucheng Supply Management Group committed to build an integrated $100 million leisure resort in the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport to feature luxury hotels, malls, duty-free shops and business process outsourcing offices.

Eminova Asset Management Ltd. and Hunan Goke Maglev Technology Development Ltd., Also from China, likewise entered into a memorandum of understanding with CEZA for a $1 billion training and production center for Maglev trains in Sta. Ana in Cagayan.

Another large-scale foreign company is looking to build an integrated resort at the Cagayan Freeport, while a leading global apparel and clothing company is already scouting for a site to set up its factory within the freeport.

Lambino said the investments could generate more than 50,000 jobs in the next five years.


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