Cagayan casino plan relies on opening of new airport

The Cagayan Freeport and Special Economic Zone is projecting to create over 5,000 additional jobs with the expected entry of three land-based casino operators once the international airport in Sta. Ana starts operations next year.

Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza) spokesman Chris Valenzona said the three proponents in the casino operations have been negotiating for years but their final decision as to the amount of investments and timetable for the proposed project would entirely depend on the completion of the airport. He said there is one major American firm and two Chinese companies who expressed interest in putting up casino operations in the zone.

The presence of land-based gaming facilities inside the zone, apart from the existing on-line casinos are expected to boost further the tourism activities in the area, he added.

With the expected increased in job generation, Valenzona said the zone’s contribution to Cagayan Valley became more pronounced as a driver of economic growth and employment generation in the region.

Thousands of Filipinos have found jobs at the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, as the new economic hub in northeast Luzon continued to draw fresh investments and international tourists.

In just seven years, the number of potential jobs in the economic zone increased exponentially from 195 in 2002 to 5,918 in 2008.

The 2008 employment expectation in the economic zone rose to 80 percent from 3,283 potential jobs that were registered in 2007. Potential job generation was estimated at 2,541 in 2008 alone.

Cagayan Valley groups the northeast Luzon provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and Batanes.

Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport in Sta. Ana, Cagayan is the fastest growing industrial, logistics and tourism hub in the country. It was established in February 1995, by virtue of Republic Act 7922. Ceza manages the freeport and attracts new locators into the economic zone.

To date, Ceza has 87 locators, of which 49 were already operational with actual investments of PHP 3.826 billion.

The 87 locators have actually committed to invest a total of PHP 16.4 billion. In 2007, there were only 68 registered enterprises and in 2006, the number stood at 55. Ayen Infante