Ilocos Sur official backs Senate bill on Salomague Freeport Economic Zone
by Imelda Castro-Rivero
Vigan City, Ilocos Sur (13 October) -- Ilocos Sur Provincial Board Member Jeremias “Jerry” Singson, younger brother of Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson, is hopeful that the Senate will approve the Bill on the Salomague Freeport Economic Zone, and of the many jobs generated once the port is open to investors.
Singson, in a live radio interview this morning over DWRS Commando Radio’s Commando Danny in Action hosted by Danny Tajon, said that the first hearing which he attended on Wednesday, October11, will usher the approval of the Senate bill sponsored by Senator Mar Roxas, Jr.
Singson added that most of the senators did not approve of the bill, saying that the government will have to fill much national fund into the Freeport, that the area has not airport, no roads. But Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Edgardo Angara approved. “They have not seen the area, that it has excellent national roads,” he said.
“Ilocos Sur first district Congressman Salacnib Baterina defended the bill, explaining that the Salomague Freeport will not need national fund because there are already some investors operating in the area. All it needs is the approval so that more investors especially from foreign countries like China and Japan will establish their businesses in the Freeport,” Singson added.
The Salomague Freeport Zone must be developed so that Manila will be decongested,
jobs will be created for North Luzon, and eventually realize the implementation of the President’s 2006 SONA’s agribusiness, irrigation, infrastructure and power projects in the area, giving better quality of life to residents.
Singson together with Vice Governor Deogracias Victor Savellano and Cabugao Mayor Diocaesar S Suero who witnessed the public hearing that also included representatives from twenty government agencies like the Department of Finance, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Department of Energy, and Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Salomague Freeport Economic Zone is located in Barangay Salomague of Cabugao, the second most northernmost town of Ilocos Sur, known popularly as the place where the SAKADAS first boarded ships for Hawaii in 1906.
Salomague port is typhoon safe because it is land-locked. It is one of the priority projects included by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the super regions, and visited by Presidential Management Staff Director General, Arthur Yap and the North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle (NLAQ) team on Wednesday, October 11.
The second phase development plant of the port requires the building of three hectares more of container yard. Today is needs repair and rehabilitation. Promoting agriculture and industry in the area, the port with its container yard will give safe, secure storage of dutiable imported goods, increasing the revenue of the province. (PIA VIGAN) [top]