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Freeman Cebu Business

Capitol relocation to spur development in Balamban

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The proposed relocation of the capitol from Cebu City to Balamban is poised to transform the western part of Cebu province into an economic powerhouse that lures investments from both local and foreign businesses.

“Government policy, investment, and infrastructure, these are the things that spur development,” said Jay Yuvallos, Cebu Investments Development Concierge Center (CIDCC) chairman.

According to Yuvallos, the relocation, however, will demand investments in infrastructure, such as in roads, public transportation, utilities, and government buildings,--which should be met by both government and private sector.

Yuvallos said the economic impact will span across all industries, distributing wealth and services evenly province-wide.

CIDCC is a one-stop trade and investment center for businesses and investors interested to locate and invest in the City and Province of Cebu.

“It will spur economic activities and investments. The catalyst has always been the government if you look into it closely,” Yuvallos said.

Power and water in particular will be a huge area for investments especially for the private sector.

He emphasized the need for additional baseload supply for Cebu to secure its growth aspirations.

Yuvallos further explained that the positive effects of the relocation will be similar to the case of Malaysia, which saw the town of Putrajaya attracting infrastructure investments when the seat of government was moved there from Kuala Lumpur.

“It will unlock various economic opportunities in sectors such as tourism. If the COVID-19 pandemic did not happen, trade and tourism in that area would have already grown,” Yuvallos noted.

“Tourism in the west side of Cebu is beautiful and its spots are waiting to be explored,” he added.

Since Cebu Provincial Governor Gwendolyn Garcia announced the relocation, Balamban Mayor Ace Stefan Binghay said various business groups have expressed interest in establishing their presence in the town and nearby locations. For example, there are plans to build a power plant in Toledo City that will provide affordable and reliable energy to Cebuanos.

Toledo City is known for being a key location for mining groups in the country. The provincial government is also working to address issues within Cebu to aid in the relocation of the capitol. One such issue is flooding, with the government allocating Php 8 billion for a drainage master plan.

The Cebu government has secured six titled lots worth 17.5 hectares to move the Capitol to Balamban. In addition, it allocated P200 million from last year’s General Appropriation Act to build the new capitol in those lots. — (FREEMAN)

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