Agreement paves way for Sicogon dev’t
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - November 13, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A compromise and framework agreement between the Federation of Sicogon Island Farmers and Fisherfolk Association (FESIFFA), the Sicogon Development Corp. (SIDECO) and Ayala Land (ALI) was signed last Nov. 8 in Estancia, Northern Iloilo, ending a long-standing land dispute and paving the way for much needed community development in the area.

The milestone signing event will allow ALI to start immediate development in Sicogon. In partnership with SIDECO, it will develop the island into a world class eco-tourism destination that will create livelihood and business opportunities for the people of Sicogon. 

The development is also seen to improve economies and land use through tourism, and is consistent with the government’s thrust to alleviate poverty. It is expected to provide at least 25,000 jobs to the local community. Moreover, the construction of an airport and a jetty port to improve accessibility to the island are projected to commence in the first quarter of 2015.

Based on the agreement, the joint venture between ALI and SIDECO will allocate resettlement sites for residents as well as help the local community build capacities. It plans to provide livelihood and training projects, which the ALI has already began implementing in the area.

 “We are glad that all the stakeholders have come to an agreement regarding development of the island,” said Maria Corazon Dizon, vice president and head of ALI Capital.  She added that “a sustainable and master-planned tourism hub in Sicogon will not only revive interest in other Western Visayas island destinations, but also help residents rebuild and enhance their communities after Typhoon Yolanda.”

The agreement was signed by FESIFFA’s Raul Ramos, SIDECO’s Edgar Sarossa and ALI’s Dizon exactly one year after Super Typhoon Yolanda swept through the Philippines.  Since last year, ALI has built houses and provided fishing boats for over 400 beneficiaries in Estancia, Carles and Banate in Northern Iloilo as part of the Ayala Group’s post-Yolanda rebuilding effort. Furthermore, 60 classrooms have been constructed by the group across Iloilo’s fifth district

Signing as witnesses were Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., representative of the fifth district of Iloilo, Secretary Joel Rocamora of the National Anti-Poverty Commission, and Randy Bernal of USWAG Sicogon Homeowners Association.

ALI AYALA GROUP AYALA LAND CARLES AND BANATE EDGAR SAROSSA FEDERATION OF SICOGON ISLAND FARMERS AND FISHERFOLK ASSOCIATION ILOILO MARIA CORAZON DIZON NORTHERN ILOILO SICOGON
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