DCCCII: Convert gov't lands to economic zones

THE Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) pushes for government-owned land to be converted into an economic zone or ecozone for proper establishment.

According to DCCCII president Arturo Milan, because of the current land prices in Davao City, it would be better if the ecozone establishment in the city will be led by the local government.

“Either local or national government, it doesn’t matter because as of now, if you look at Davao City right now, the land prices are a bit expensive. Born about by the development that’s happening in the city so it’s better if the government, be it local or national, to really organize the ecozone that’s like what they did in Cebu when they started the ecozones there. It was really a government-led zones that were created and it was attracted by a lot of investments,” Milan said.

He added they are currently coordinating with the city council. Milan said that based on the presentation of Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) director general Charito Plaza, newly-designated vice mayor Bernard Al-ag has already tasked city councilor Jimmy Dureza in scouting for areas in the city that will be ideal for ecozone conversion.

“Unfortunately, the big tracks of land in Davao City are privately owned already. And if there are available for sale, they are very speculative in prices. You know prices now in Davao City are really very speculative. So that’s really the challenge on how we can convert. That’s why we are looking for government lands to be converted because it’s really a tall order for private lands to be converted into because of the very speculative prices,” said Milan.

Milan said Davao City can start with a 50-hectare ecozone and just expand in the coming years to about a hundred hectares, however he said the most ideal ecozone is about 400 hectares.

“It has to be near a seaport so whatever you produce, if you want to export or for other regions in the country to service, it would be easy. The cost of transport is a lot cheaper. The other one is it should be near an airport as well. So the basic infrastructure needs to be there so the ecozone would be attractive,” he said.