Aurora named new economic zone

from Manila Standard Today:

Aurora named new economic zone

By Ferdz G. Domingo

CASIGURAN, Aurora—President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has signed into a law Republic Act 9490 making Aurora province a special economic zone, Gov. Bellaflor Angara Castillo announced yesterday.

The new law, establishing the Aurora Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority, is expected to spur trade and investment in the province which is considered one of the most depressed in the country.

The freeport will cover 500 hectares in this town and marks the end of nine years of congressional lobbying for its passage. The law would have become a law in 1998 but it was vetoed by then President Fidel V. Ramos, 10 days before he stepped down from power.

Angara said the passage of the measure will trigger economic growth not only in the province but in adjoining provinces and would make the eastern Luzon seaboard an investment haven.

She said the provincial government has already set in place the construction of national and provincial roads to lay the infrastructure requirements for an investments haven.

These include the Ma. Aurora-Dipaculao, Suklayin-Calabuanan, Casiguran-Dilasag, Dingalan-Umiray, Baler-Cemento and San Luis provincial roads and the Baler-Dipaculao-Dinalungan-Casiguran and San Luis-Ma. Aurora-Canili-Pantabangan national roads.

Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, for his part, said the new law will greatly help in reducing poverty in the province.

The law aims to develop the province into a self-sustaining industrial, commercial and financial investment and tourism center that will generate jobs.

The economic zone will cover Barangays Esteves, Divet and Dibacong in this costal town from the original proposed location in Baler.

The economic zone authority will be under the control of the President and will operate for a period 50 years with an authorized capital stock of P2 billion.

The measure grants tax exemptions for business establishments as provided under the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995 and the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987.

About kidlat

Joseph T. Gonzales, aka Kidlat is the creator of Batangbaler, the website and online community of all the scattered Balereños and Aurorans on Earth. He is based in Baler.

24 thoughts on “Aurora named new economic zone”

  1. the long wait is over. At least, poverty will be lessened in that northern part of the province.

  2. Development at the expense of the environment and the local people……. Economic zone is not solution to poverty…. expect people would be displace from ancestral land, explotitation and degredation of resources by mga dayu…. migration of other people, prostitution and not to mention drugs. Sometimes we have to be careful of what we wish for, before joining the bandwagon lets reassess the situation for the greater good not for greater gold…

    Remember the golden rule has changed…. He who has the gold, rules! Lets Ask yourselves who has the gold?? Aurora is a paradise, dont let money blind us temporarily and make our children pay the price later because we had made bad decision in our time.

    Botyok, nothing is better than having something you’ll never get…

  3. Development is synonymous to change.. Change is the only permanent thing on earth.. We can do nothing about it.. But we could adapt..
    Maybe it’s time that we submit ourselves to change for the benefit of the people living in this area.. Atleast people will get to have more rewarding jobs and stuff.. Construction of provincial and national roads may lead to greater opportunities, access to technology and comfortable driving.. We wouldn’t want to be left behind.. We want to be discovered.. to be exposed to new things.. We want to wake up on a bright morning with hopes and dreams of becoming successful someday.. But that doesn’t mean forgetting our responsibility of maintaining a healthy environment.. Of course development means sacrificing some parts of resources, but if we would only handle this matter accordingly, if we would create an efficient and effective system and if we would choose our leaders who will execute this system, we wouldn’t have to make such sacrifice.. It’s our choice to make.. Everyone has a choice.. Let’s start it with our own selves..

  4. Don’t know Boknoy. But do you have anything to suggest for the improvement of Aurora? Say it here. That road going to the other side of Sierra Madre been an issue since from the time of Quezon. You mentioned of prostituions and drugs…just look around you there. Eh kaya nga yung mga ‘dayo’ ang umuunlad diyan sa Aurora ay dahil tayo mismo ayaw gumalaw. Come on. Sabutan is not the only industry you can have there so everyone can have a job. Ayaw ko ring masira yung existing forests natin of course. And by the way nasaan na yung ferry boats? Wala pa rin?
    ‘Nothing is better than something you’ll never get’ yeah rigth! ‘all you need is love’ na naman ito. Ahhhh! makapagpa-hindag nga at maintay iyung babagsak na ‘gangu’.

  5. Isnabera, i know change is inevetable and development is something not to be afraid of. But dont you raise an eyebrow, why of all places why aurora? Why not Aparri, Quezon Province, Ilocos Sur or Norte, and the transport access is easier and shorter because most of the structures are already present. This is really a monstrous project that every filipino is paying because im sure its an UTANG. Dont you also raise and eyebrow that this project will be controlled by the president for 50 years!!!!

    How can we expect all this dreams will be executed properly sound when even simple things like fixing the road or building a mediocre hospitals and public schools in the province cant be done. And not to mention, pagkakalbo ng bundok natin ay napapabayaan. All this things will come to tragic ending because de nga natin natutupad and simple paano na kaya yung malaking bagay. Before we have to dwell in someones promises we have to fill the basic needs of the province first. So what has happened to this other project na gagawing “fruit basket” ang aurora, has it started na ba o mauuwi na rin yan gaya ng ferry boat na de pa dumadating. Isnabera, its just a choice of the few that has anoumalous interest not everyones choice. Our government just makes laws, plans and project without even consulting the majority of the people.

    Another concern is WEATHER! How could an Industrial Economic Zone be established when its all at the mercy of the weather condtions. Remember we are sitting at the TYPHOON belt Ija and Ijo. Dont you thing we have to spend our budget securing our place rather than spending all in make ups before rainy season arrives??

    Botyok, ilan nang siglu ang nakalipas since time ni Quezon iyan pa baga ang problema natin, de ba natin itatanong yan natin sa mga namumunu?? Anong ibig sabihin niyan? Wala bang namumunu sa ating probinsya at de pa mapayus-ayus mga daan natin??

    Ang masasabi ko lang sa lahat, bagu tayu aakyat sa matayug na punu magpraktis muna tayu sa mababa. At kung tayu’y mahulog man, mahina lang yung aray de tayu magsapuretret! Dapat ang namumunu sa atin ay dati na nila ginagawa o inaayus yung daan, papatayu ng maayus namang hospital, health centers, schools and cottage industries. Our province is very fertile for agriculture than other places sa luzon, why dont we start from there. De nga lang natin magawagawa itu at yung basic structures ay de mayusayus ai.

    Doesnt mean we all have to be farmers and fishers but we have to find ways to tap our greatest assests, ECOTOURISM and Agriculture Production. We said that Aurora is an ecotourism destination site and “food basket” in the philippines, this just doesnt make sense if we have industrial development. De ba nakakaloka itu?? The problem in us is that we want to achieve greatness overnight. We easily overwhelm by our leaders na for so long napakaliit ng naiambag nila sa province.

    I hope my view would serve as a jump point for others to share their thougths and insights regarding this matter. This is big event in our province has started already, its up to us to still take part in the decisions and suggestions or even violent protests. WAKE UP EVERYONE!!!
    Wish us all good luck and God speed!

    Love boknoy

  6. good news for all aurorians the long wait is over…….i want to see the province achieve its dream of development… in dingalan we are so much thankful for after 2300 years eh makakatikim na rin kame ng maginhawang byahe from cabanatuan….the port was a great help for our continous development…sana yung ibang mga projects dito di harangin,may mga tao kasi na mahina ang kokote at kaninang 3 am lang pinanganak ang nagsasabing danger zone daw kame….politically oo pero sa ibang bagay HINDI….

  7. I do not know if this will really help the province, but hope that this will be the beginning. Let’s us be on guard coz as you can see WHO is in the position? Who owns the big land area now, Who has the good resort on their name? they are the big { A } of Aurora. for how many years that they are in the position what happened? how many years in the senate, congress? wish this one is for real.

  8. I don’t need to reply on this ‘ironwill’. But what can i say? A big ‘HO-HUM’. True and i’m gald that you’re seeing those kind of shits you know? Those decades that’re gone who are those last names that you knew became leaders of our province? Tell it here. Quezon? Etcubanes? Ong? Molina? Angara? Who else? I just hope that it’s not something which is politicaly motivated statement of yours. Mine is at least we have something we can hope for and all we need to do is to moderate it.

  9. CHANGE – yes, it is INEVITABLE. But there are two types of change. GOOD and BAD. In this case, we have differing views if such “change” is good or bad for us, the residents. For those living in that northern part of the province, i think that it is GOOD for them. Let’s not close our eyes. It is a fact that that area is poverty-stricken. Eye opener: most of the residents there are either fishermen or “loggers”. I mean workers of logging firms. The reason why logging operations cannot be stopped in that area is because doing so will deprive many residents of their livelihood. If this ecozone came to reality, it will create jobs for the people. From then we can demand the cessation of logging operations in the province. When SM Baguio opened, the city government demanded that those living in the Cordillera be given priority in hiring. I believe the provincial government can do the same so that ‘dayu’ will not be the sole beneficiary.
    I respect your concern for the mother nature, Boknoy. But which is better, let logging operators abuse our forests without benefit for us or give opportunity for the people to oppose such abuse by providing jobs to the residents thru that ecozone?
    It is not the idea of creating the ecozone that would destroy the nature. It is the person who will administer it. And destruction is an impossibility if, AND ONLY IF, we DO, not TALK about, our duty as a resident.
    The problem with us is that we cannot see GOOD things when we already SAW potential problems that would arise.
    I suggest you visit and read an article by JAJ titled “Why our hometown remains to be 3rd Class?”.

  10. The question is when it will be started. You know guys, people like me from Casiguran wants nothing but COMFORTABLE ACCESS TO MANILA/TRANSPORTATION, PROPER UTILIZATION OF FUND FOR THAT PROJECT, MAINTENANCE OF ROADS-CASIGURAN TO BALER, PRACTICAL/REALIZABLE ECONOMIC/LIVELIHOOD PROGRAM IN NORTHERN AURORA AND EVEN A LITTLE/VISIBLE DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT COMPROMISING AURORA’S NATURE. Why a even a little? We don’t need a very ambicious visions, projects and promises which ended to unfinished, unmaintained, unrealized, UNOPERATIONAL OR TOTALLY NOTHING and later on we found out that the budget/fund was exhausted. I am talking of general not particularly to Aurora.

    Why maintenance of roads? In a situation after a typhoon destroyed the rough and terrible road from Casiguran to Baler (no need to mention Baler to Manila due to that is well maintained than what we have in Casiguran), businessmen, travellers and students who are in vacation on that time have the problem on how to reach Baler, Manila, Cabanatuan or anywhere else due to landslides and road washout along rivers and springs brought by the typhoon. And what we can expect from government? a very slow progress on the repair they’re doing (hey, businessmen’s products are spoiling resulting to a big loss, students are stuckep-up resulting to a one to three weeks absences, commodity prices are rising resulting to additional burden to the residents). What we need is fast response to the situation or alternative means of transportation from Casiguran to Baler.

    Sorry guys,I’m writing too much, I may telling with wrong people. Pasensya

  11. Angara ang land Lord sa Aurora. Ginagamit nito si PENRO Mina para makuha ang malalawak na lupa gaya ng Dikasalarin, sa Food BASKET, APEZA.

    ang APEZA sa ngayon ang pinaka malawak dahil sa Phase 1 nito ay 1,000 hectars sa brgy Esteves at Dibet at ngayon sa Phase 2 ay 12,800 hectars sa brgy Lual at Culat. Darating ang panahon ang mga taga Aurora ay iskuwater sa sariling bayan.

    Kung sila pa ang mananalo sa eleksyon 2010 wala ng matitira sa taga Aurora. Kailan kaya magising ang mga taga Aurora.

    Nitong Mutya ng Pilipinas milyon-milyon ginastos nila mula sa buwis ng mamamayan. busog ang mata pero tiyan gutom. tingnan mo ang hospital nakakamatay ang hitsura. Piyesta ng BAler bongga pero mga mamamayan gutom. Pa Pogi lang ang mga Angara.


  12. anu baga ang inaangal ng mga tree huggers ay samantalang 500 ektarya laang ang sakup ng proyekto samantalang ang mga loggers ay libu-lubong ektarya na ang nasira? tiyak namang may maayos na plano iyan bagu simul-an. siguru takut lamang yung ibang ma-agwantahan ng mga dayuhan. ay wala ngang mangyayari sa mga lokals kung palaging papatik-patik at marami rin ay nag-aabang laang ng paghahalabas ng niyug. saka, de baga’t ang tunay na lokal laang ay mga alta at ilungut kaya tayu ay pare-parehung dayu laang diyan bukud sa alta at ilungut.

  13. hala nga magbigay kayu ng specific na mga projects na de makasisira ng aurora flora and fauna at the same time will lead to prosperity of aurorans? ang hirap ta ay ecotourism daw, ay anung gustu mung gaw-in para ditu? halimbawa yung dagat maganda para sa surfing (iyan may mga events na , OK ito) pero ang diving o snorkling paanu? ay yung mga video nga ditu sa BB ang lalabu dahil walang maayus na camera yung mga nagsusumikap na mai-promote itu, mayruun bagang nagkawang-gawang magdonate ng top of the line under water camera? wala hanggang ngay-un!

    agriculture? mayruun na bagang mga backyard gardens man laang sa Baler? wala! marami sa mga produkto galing pa sa townsite o dipaculao o nueva ecija.

    saan ka nakakita ng mga fish ponds? wala rin! o mga pigggery at manukan ng sinusuportahan ng karamihan? may mabibilang sa daliri anu?

    ang mga niyugan, akaw ay mga layogan na de pa pinapaltan ng magagandang selected and more productive seedlings.

    sinu-sino ang mga taung dapat tumingin sa ikauunlad ng mga itu? baka nasa tong-itan , hehehe.batu-bato sa langit po laang!

    dito sa pitong gatang , napag-uusapan lang….walang labis walang kulang.teka’t makapagharana na nga laang pagkatapus dumaan sa bognoyas.

  14. kaya saludo aku kay KID. iyan ang kakana. sinu baga ang nagsimula ng global expossure ng tourism sa aurora? sinu baga ang walang sawang mag promote ng Aurora? si Kid laang at BB ang alam ku sa ngay-un. maraming salamat KID!

  15. sus wadi subra na nga ang mga tulay sa mundo mapagkamkam ng mga lupa,matalo sana sa politika kasi makapangyarihan na ang tingin sa sarili, gusto baguhin ang ginawa ng tunay na may ari….wadi maka saniki e…..

  16. Sa mga Angara na ang buong aurora. dina nasiyahan sa kanilang kayamanan at kapangyarihan. kakamin pa ang lupa ng taga DICADI. mula sa 500 hectars naging 1,000 naging 12,250+ at balita kunin pa nila ang brgy Diniyog at Masagana sa Dilasag at Nipoo sa Dinalungan at Ditinagyan ng Casiguran. May mga kinuha pa silang mga beach resourt na sapilitan at ang iba ay napatituluhan ng di alam ng mga taong nakaposisyon.
    kung ganito ang kapangya sa susunod na eleksyon ano ang gagawin ng mga taga Aurora. Baka sa kankungan tayo lahat pupulutin. Magisip tayo.

  17. Ang ang nagsusulong ng APECO gaya ng mga politiko ng Aurora ay mga tunay na land graver ng Aurora. tingnan nyo 13,000 ektarya ang kukunin sa mga tao. Sabi ni Governor Bella hindi sila land graver kasi daw yung mga tao ang nag bebenta ng lupa sa kanila kasi daw, walang pera para sa gamot, walang pera para sa pagpapaaral ng anak, walang pera para sa pagkain. kung ganon hindi APECO ang solusyon kundi bigyan mo ng libreng hospital at gamot ang tao hindi kunin ang kanilang lupa. bigyan mo ng libreng edukasyon ang mga anak ng mga magsasaka hindi kunin ang kanilang lupang sinasaka. bigyan mo ng tunay na pangkabuhayan ang mga tao hindi ang kunin ang kanilang maliit na nigosyo. Huwad na kaunlaran ang kanilang inilulunsad. MAG-ISIP TAYO NG KABABAYAN. ANG LUPA NG AURORA AY PARA SA MGA TAGA AURORA HINDI SA MGA ANGARA AT MGA DAYUHAN.

  18. si CONCHITA DISCAGA ang tunay na nagbebenta sa kapwa niya mga dumagat. Mag-isip kayo ng katutubo siya lamang ang kumikita ng malaki dahil sa panlilinlang niya sa inyo. Pati ang inyong lupang ninuno ay kanyang ibinebenta sa APECO pati ang inyong pagkatao. pag natuloy ang APECO pagsasayawin kayo ni CONCHITA sa harap ng mga torista at sa kanya ang bayad. dati ng kumita siya sa mga loggers gaya ng IDC dahil binenta niya ang mga lugar ng mga katutubo na may mga kahoy pa. Kung ako sa inyo mag petisyon kayo na tanggalin siya bilang pinuno ninyo. Pati mining gustong papasukin sa inyong mga lupang inaangkin bilang katutubo. MAG-INGAT KAY CONCHITA DISCARGA AT sa kanyang mga alipores.

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