WITH development being equated to the number of industries, the mayor of Tabuk is planning to set up an economic zone in their city.

Mayor Ferdinand Tubban stressed that being the second city in the region, the city’s contribution to regional development should be industries and quality products.

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Tubban tasked his newly-formed Tabuk City development council to determine zoning requirements for an economic zone in the second chartered city in the region.

In the State of the Region Address, Regional Development Council acting chair Juan Ngalob said the region’s economy is heavily skewed and measured in terms of industry that has been focus only in the province of Benguet and Baguio City.

“So far we have industries in the special economic zone located in Baguio and some industries scattered in some parts of Benguet,” he said.

Another problem which besets Tabuk officials is the long travel time to the capital Tabuk from the country’s capital Manila or even Baguio City.

The nearest airport, meanwhile, is the Tuguegarao Airport which takes three hours to reach from Tabuk.

Moreover, he added with problems on its budget still looming in the few next years due to a pending Supreme Court decision, infrastructure and delivery of basic services is another problem.

Unfazed, Tubban said with the focus on the Cordillera Road Improvement Project, which links CAR provinces, and the development of the airport in

Cagayan, it will be easier for Tabuk residents to transport their products to other provinces.

He added industries will be treated with special agreements to further encourage businessmen to invest in their city, thus providing more income to a city which still only receives P139 million as its Internal Revenue Allotment.

Among the products the city has been proud of is coffee wherein the Kalinga Blend and Kalinga Brew Arabica are slowly being recognized as top brands in the country.

“With an economic zone we can further be a center for this industry not only in the region but also in north Luzon,” Tubban said.

He added the peace and order situation has also been a pride of Tabukenos unlike in the previous years.

Tubban said the existence of the Matagoan Bodong Council won for the city a Galing Pook Award in 2009. Because of this, investors will be assured of low crime rate and easier settlement of disputes. (JM Agreda)