Peza calls on MCIAA to consider other options

AN OFFICIAL of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) is asking the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) to consider building the second runway on the eastern side of the existing runway instead of its plan to build on land currently occupied by the Mactan Economic Zone 1 (MEZ 1).

“We want them to consider since what they want causes multiple and costly damages to MEZ 1, plus the social unrest by workers once industries will transfer to other countries,” Director General Brigadier Gen. Charito Plaza told SunStar Cebu.

There are 150 MEZ 1 locators who will be affected in the event that the plan, which has yet to be approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), pushes through.

“We have different agreements per industry because some construct their buildings and just lease our MEZ lots while (in the case of) others, Peza owns both the land and building,” Plaza explained.

Some contracts expire after 25 years but are renewable, while other buildings of MEZ locators become Peza property upon expiration of their contracts, she said.

Reclamation

In an earlier interview, MCIAA general manager Steve Dicdican said affected businesses will be relocated to the proposed Special Economic Zone (SEZ) that will be opened in a 300-hectare reclaimed area in Barangay Ibo to pave the way for the runway construction.

The proposed reclamation area will be developed into a “smart city” with direct access to a proposed cargo terminal in the airport.

Shared services infrastructure and renewable resources such as solar power and rainwater harvesting systems will be made available, providing locators with many opportunities to reduce operational costs.

“We have meetings with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, local government units and locators. That can only be done if everyone compromises,” Dicdican said.

“So far, all the stakeholders are in alignment that there is a need to grow the airport. There is a need to compromise. We just need to work on the details to ensure that the development is seamless without disrupting their operations,” Dicdican added.

A letter of the Mactan Export Processing Zone Chamber of Exporters and Manufacturers (Mepzcem) and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Cebu (JCCI-CI) dated Dec. 13, 2019 and addressed to Dicdican asked for clarification on the plan.

The letter also revealed figures of at least US$2.3 billion, which the firms would demand as compensation for relocation costs, and an additional $4 billion for loss of revenue and expired inventory which the foreign investors said the MCIAA should shoulder. (JOB)