MCIAA mulls assistance packages for MEZ 1 firms

Proposed site of the second runway and MEZ 1

THE Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) said it plans to give Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ) 1 locators different options to make their relocation convenient and less costly, and to ensure minimal disruption in the locators’ operations.

Lawyer Steve Dicdican, MCIAA general manager, said among the options is to offer locators ownership of the lot, give them lower lease rates or for both locator and the winning bidder of the project to share the construction cost of the new facilities.

Dicdican said they already requested the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) for data on the MEZ 1 locators, the expiry of their contract and contract terms so the MCIAA can prepare an appropriate package for the affected firms.

In a press conference on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, Dicdican said it would take at least nine years before they can start constructing the second runway. Construction will run for 15 years.

“There is a three-year period before the reclamation will start. From that period, there is another three-year period to create the land for the relocation of MEZ and another three-year period for the reclamation of the land intended for the second runway,” he said.

The relocation of some 150 MEZ 1 locators is part of the MCIAA’s 50-year master plan for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in Lapu-Lapu City, which also includes the construction of a second runway.

The locators will be relocated to the proposed Special Economic Zone (SEZ) that will be opened in a 300-hectare reclaimed area in Barangay Ibo to pave the way for the runway construction.

Dicdican is optimistic that there will be minimal disruption in the operations of the locators during the relocation process if there is proper coordination and if the firms have sufficient buffer supply.

MEZ 1 employs approximately 57,000 direct workers and another 285,000 indirect laborers.

Among the MEZ 1 locators are watch manufacturer TMX Philippines Inc., electronic components manufacturer Taiyo Yuden (Phils) Inc., Shemberg Food Ingredients Corp. and manufacturers of garments, furniture and semiconductor process equipment.

Dicdican said he met with some of the locators and Peza officials and he admitted that they were not happy with the plans and opposed them.

“There’s a perception that this is just a runway that we’re creating. Why are you stopping businesses when you’re just creating a runway or a road basically? What is the value of that?” he quoted some of the locators as saying.

But for Dicdican, the airport is the “lifeblood” of the economy and it needs to be expanded with the increasing number of tourists and businesses in Cebu. (from FVQ of Superbalita Cebu/LRC)


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