By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT
The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has proposed to reclaim 200 hectares of land to expand its already filled up 150-hectare Mactan Economic Zone.
PEZA Director-General Charito B. Plaza raised this proposal as the ecozone authority is backing behind the position of locators in the Mactan Economic Zone 1 (MEZ 1) against the plan by the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) to relocate the ecozone as it will be used for the construction of a second international runway.
“We are now applying for a reclamation because we want to expand the land of Mactan economic zone,” said Plaza.
Under the plan, once the Philippine Reclamation Authority approves PEZA’s proposal they will look for a developer for the expanded ecozone who will also undertake the reclamation. PEZA will get 40 percent ownership of the reclaimed area and 60 percent to the developer.
“We have just expressed our plan to apply with the PRA,” said Plaza.
Meantime, PEZA has opposed to the MCIAA plan to construct a second runway right on the MEZ location.
PEZA Deputy DG Theo Panga said PEZA is endorsing the position of the locators Mactan Export Processing Zone Chamber of Exporters and Manufacturers (MEPZCEM) Chamber, Inc. and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Cebu Inc. (JCCI-Cebu) with the support of the local government against the MCIAA plan.
They are asking the National Economic Development Authority to spare MEZ 1 from the runway construction.
The joint petition has been submitted to MCIAA General Manager and CEO Atty. Steve Dicdican last December 19, 2019 and to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-ICC Secretariat last January 16 for fear the proposed runway would force industries to relocate away from the area.
Panga explained that MCIAA has actually two options: Have the second runway constructed inside the ecozone which will also include a reclamation or in the adjacent barangay which will affect 12,000 individuals but who will be relocated in the planned 200 hectare reclaimed area.