By Nonoy Lacson
ZAMBOANGA CIY – A group of Japanese businessmen and former governor of Tawi-Tawi led in the ground breaking, Monday of the $2- billion, or approximately P100- Billion, of an “economic zone and trans-shipment port” in Panglima Sugala in Tawi-Tawi.
Former Tawi-Tawi Gov Sadikul Sahali said the Tawi-Tawi economic zone will be established in Kulape, Panglima Sugala town, while the Tawi-Tawi transshipment port will be constructed at the municipality of Bongao.
He said the economic zone will house a power and desalination plant, a port, storage area and zones for financial and commercial, light industry, medium industries, heavy industry, agro-industrial, sewage and a waste water treatment plant.
Adding that the Japanese businessmen wanted the immediate construction of the economic zone and the transshipment port and vowed to release the P100-billion to the winning contractor or contractors in two trenches.
Sibutu passage is one of the main sea lane passages of commercial and cargo ships in Southeast Asia and, as such, they will be collecting fees from these ships for using the Sibutu sea lanes which is part of the province.
It is estimated that more than 52,000 ships from various parts of the world passes through the Sibutu sea water yearly.
Sahali said the project is also aimed at eliminating poverty in the province as it will generate thousands of new jobs for the people of the province.
“This is truly a historic occasion because this marks the beginning of Tawi-Tawi’s journey towards peace, progress and development,”
Sahali said during the ground breaking ceremony at Panglima Sugala town.
According to Sahali once the economic zones and transshipment port become operational, it is expected to generate P50 to P80 billion in revenues for the government each year.
Sahali has prepared the documents required to implement the project to include requirements from Congress that allowed the establishment of an ecozone in Tawi-Tawi
The former governor of the province also took a bold steps to lure foreign potential investor for the immediately construction the eco-zone and the transshipment port in the province.