We’re more than just shipbuilding: Binghay-A A +A
Sunday, October 6, 2013
BALAMBAN Mayor Ace Stefan Binghay is inviting investors to his town, which is known for its thriving shipbuilding industry.
Balamban, a 33,000- hectare municipality in Western Cebu, is known as the location of ship building companies like Tsuneishi Heavy Industries Inc (THI) and Austal
The West Cebu Industrial Park, a 274-hectare project of the Cebu Industrial Park Developers Inc, a joint venture between the Aboitiz Group and THI, is also located in Balamban.
Binghay, however, said that Balamban does not want to limit itself to shipbuilding, given the big area of land it can still provide to its future investors.
The WCIP, which is registered as a Special Economic Zone under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza), is an area where they can accommodate investors who want to put up businesses in Balamban. As a Peza-registered enterprise, locators will be enjoying tax incentives and other privileges.
The WCIP hosts medium to heavy industries, most of which have links with shipbuilding.
Shipbuilding has been in Balamban for 20 years and generates 15,000 jobs for Balamban residents and those from neighboring places like Toledo City and Asturias.
Balamban is “ship-building capital of the Philippines,” the town said in its official website.
Binghay said, however, that businesses in line with agriculture and other sectors are also welcome in Balamban.
Aboitiz construction group Metaphil and welding gas supplier Lindt are also present in the town.
Binghay said he is proud that the municipality’s flourishing agri-business continuously provides food to its residents and people in neighboring municipalities.
Balamban is also the main source of abaca fiber in Cebu Province, which he said proves the good condition of the farming sector in the municipality.
“There has to be a balance with our main source of livelihood in the past, farming, and the present one, ship building,” Binghay said.
He also said that with the present business environment in Balamban and the big number of employed residents, micro and small businesses have also sprouted, especially on food.
Binghay said that in the coming months, they will open the Boardwalk, a 1,000-meter oval near the coast, where 26 food stalls will operate. The Boardwalk is accessible to residents and faces THI’s operations.
Aside from the big space where it can accommodate future businesses, Binghay also highlighted Balamban’s proximity to the city. He said it is just 47 kilometers away from Cebu City and can be reached in an hour of driving through the Cebu Transcentral Highway.
He said there is also good peace and order in Balamban and its residents are provided education and health services. All these contribute to “Balamban being a business-friendly municipality,” he said.
More than a decade ago, Balamban was a fourth-class municipality but in recent years, it has become a first-class municipality in Cebu Province.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 07, 2013.