THE Hijo Industrial Estates broke ground Friday, June 16, for its 760-hectare township development in Barangay Madaum, Tagum City in Davao del Norte.
The company will be investing P1-billion for the development alone, of which less than half will be spent in the next two years, Hijo Resources Inc. president Rosanna TuasonFores said.
The project raises the ante for township development as it not only will have a town center at the core, which is envisioned to be the next biggest hub for business, commercial, and retail activities next to the central business district of Tagum, it will also include a satellite government center for convenient access to government services.
A total of 320 hectares of the development is devoted to leisure and tourism that includes a 60-hectare forest, a natural habitat for wild local flora and fauna including Philippine hardwood species, and a four-kilometer long fine sand shoreline, mangroves, and creeks and streams.
The residential estates will have high, medium, and low density developments that will primarily serve the industrial estate's needs with a lake right at the center of the enclave around which the clubhouse, sports facilities, parks and open spaces, and jogging and hiking paths will be developed.
It will also have an Information Communication Technology area for business process outsourcing companies and other information and communications technology based establishments.
It will also have a port through a joint business venture between Hijo Resources Corporation and the International Container Terminal Services Inc. The 54-hectare deep-sea port with a draft of 13 meters is designed to handle both containerized and break-bulk cargoes. It will have an initial terminal capacity of 450,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit expandable to 650,000.
With the Asean cooperation going full-swing, Fores said, "With the free trade agreement, we will be able to exchange raw materials, bring it to the export processing zone, and add value to these products."
She cited the fact that at present, containers are shipped to the region empty as these will be loaded with fresh pineapples and bananas for the export market. These can be filled with the raw materials from the Asean or Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-Eaga) and processed in the city for higher export value.
Meanwhile, HRC Property Development Director Eduardo Abores said that they expect the Sta. Lucia Realty to start work on the residential estates within the next three months.
"We already have our first locator, the La Filipina for seven hectares," Abores said. La Filipina, an Iloilo company, is into food processing.