BAGUIO

Agri ecozone eyed in La Trinidad

ESTABLISHMENT of special economic zones (SEZ) outside Baguio will help spur development in Benguet, a lawmaker said.

Baguio City Representative Marquez Go suggested the possible establishment of an SEZ in La Trinidad to focus on agriculture products.

Go said although at present, some industry based inside the SEZ in Baguio City were forced to cease operations due to pandemic, business opportunities are cyclical, or may experience its ups and downs, depending on the economic concoctions of every period.

"For this economic zone, we can invite people and their business would be different from Baguio City to which the focus for La Trinidad is on agriculture. There is a market on agriculture and it does not necessarily have to be an international investor," Go said.

The lawmaker pointed out the Cordillera should utilize potential to improve economy having different weather and fertile lands.

"This may be in the form of processing where we can bring in investors to La Trinidad to support the agricultural sector and is a way to generate income of the municipality and the people. In Baguio City, we have the Peza and these companies pay to the National Government is five percent of their gross income to which the city shares two percent, or an average of around P200 million a year," Go stated.

Once established, Go said La Trinidad is expected to earn at least P100 million and generate employment.

La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda welcomed the suggestion and explained the town started the proposal for a similar economic zone dealing with telecommunications industry.

"What we have submitted is for a call center but for this June, during the visit of Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar, he committed P20 million for the processing center divided to P10 million for the equipment and P10million for the building located at the Benguet State University. Although La Trinidad is an agricultural area and if we are looking at an industrial area, we have some lot area but these are communal forests which are vacant lots but if we are to pursue this, maybe under a land conversion process to identify the municipal lots of industrial purposes," Salda added.


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