THE planned transfer of Capitol from Cebu City to Balamban, Cebu is set to transform the west side of Cebu Province into an economic powerhouse, attracting even global investments.
Jay Yuvallos, chair of the Cebu Investments Development Concierge Center (CIDCC), said its economic impact will span across all industries, distributing wealth and services evenly province-wide.
“It will spur economic activities and investments. The catalyst has always been the government if you look into it closely. Government policy, investment, and infrastructure, these are the things that spur development,” said Yuvallos.
CIDCC is a one-stop trade and investment center for businesses and investors interested to locate and invest in the City and Province of Cebu.
The new Capitol is set to be constructed in an area between Barangays Cansoromoy and Cambuhawe. Balamban can be reached an hour from Cebu City via the Transcentral Highway or at least two hours via Toledo City.
The relocation, however, will demand investments in infrastructure — such as in roads, public transportation, utilities, and government buildings, — which should be met by both government and the private sector. Power and water in particular, will be a huge area for investments, especially for the private sector. He emphasized the need for additional baseload supply for Cebu to secure its growth aspirations.
Yuvallos said the positive effects of the relocation will be similar to the case of Malaysia, which saw the town of Putrajaya attracting infrastructure investments when the seat of government was moved there from Kuala Lumpur.
“It will unlock various economic opportunities in sectors such as tourism. In fact, if the Covid-19 pandemic did not happen, trade and tourism in that area would have already grown,” Yuvallos noted. “Tourism in the west side of Cebu is beautiful and its spots are waiting to be explored.”
In an earlier interview, Balamban Mayor Ace Stefan Binghay said that since Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia announced the relocation of the Capitol to Balamban, discussions about potential investments and opportunities in the area have significantly heightened.
He said several investors and businessmen have expressed their interest in pouring investments into the town.
For example, there are plans to build a power plant in Toledo City that will provide affordable and reliable energy to Cebuanos. Toledo City is known for being a key location for mining groups in the country.
The Provincial Government is also working to address issues within Cebu to aid in the relocation of the Capitol. One such issue is flooding, with the government allocating P8 billion for a drainage master plan.
The Capitol has already secured six titled lots measuring 17.5 hectares at the project site.