January 30, 2009 03:06 PM Friday [ journal.com.ph ]
By: Mamer Bañez
CASIGURAN, Aurora -- The creation of the Aurora Special Economic Zone Authority here will open doors of opportunity for local residents and lift them from four centuries of grinding poverty.
Sen. Edgardo Angara told residents of barangays Dibacong, Dibet and Esteves that the ecozone project will generate employment and provide opportunities for residents.
“Once the ecozone project is fully operationalized, Casiguran will boom which you have never experienced in your lifetime,” Angara said in his speech marking the ground-breaking of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone administration building in Barangay Esteves Wednesday afternoon.
He said Casiguran has stagnated compared with neighboring municipalities and the ecozone would give it the impetus to finally achieve progress.
“After 400 years, nahuhuli na ho sa biyahe ang Casiguran kaya minabuti natin na dito itayo ang ecozone,” he stressed.
The senator made the remarks amid the strong opposition from certain quarters against the establishment of the ASEZA. Militant groups identified with the Multi-Sectoral Action Group have opposed the ecozone, saying the government would grab lands from landowners, owners of land titles and tenant farmers.
Angara slammed critics of the ASEZA, saying they were resorting to a vilification campaign to deprive residents of the benefits that would be due them once the project is fully realized.
Angara, along with ASEZA chairman and administrator Joseph Delano-Bernardo and Basque Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister Gonzalo Saenz De Samaniego lowered the time capsule for the APECO administration building at a 22-hectare site here. They were assisted by Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, Agriculture Undersecretary Bernadette Puyat, First Secretary and Consul of the Philippine Embassy in Madrid Marc De Borja, Juan Aguado of the Basque Governmental Delegation in Madrid, AZTI Tecnalia Business Director Adolfo Uriarte, Isabela Sola, ASEZA Deputy Administrator Jaime Melendres and local officials.