Friday, August 21, 2009 [ manilatimes.net ]
BALER, Aurora: A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will make the people of Aurora feel the effects of progress, President Gloria Arroyo said here on Wednesday.
The Chief Executive who spoke for the 400th anniversary of this town, the capital of Aurora, said progress and development would roll on once the economic zone starts commercial operation next year, as it will hasten the influx of investments and creation of jobs in the province.
She said that foreign investors, including Spanish, Japanese and Europeans, have already expressed interest in putting up businesses even as the SEZ is expected to operate on the first quarter of 2010.
She also named several projects to benefit Aurora such as the construction of various infrastructures such as the Casiguran airport and seaport, the Tarlac-Nueva Ecija-Dingalan Port Road and the Baler-Casiguran Road.
The President noted that the P150-million airport is now 80 percent complete while the P2.2-billion, 120-kilometer Baler-Casiguran is halfway through.
Arroyo, along with Sen. Edgardo Angara, House Deputy Majority Leader Juan Edgardo Angara, Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo and Mayor Nestor Angara, led the unveiling of the “Bayan ng Baler” historical marker for its 400th anniversary as a municipality, coinciding with late Commonwealth President Manuel Luis Quezon’s 131st birth anniversary.
It was the Chief Executive’s second visit in this province in less than 14 months, the last was on June 30,2008, when she graced the sixth anniversary of Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day. The other was in December, when she issued Presidential Proclamation 1696 declaring the year 2009 as the “Year of Baler.”
Angara-Castillo praised the President for not politicizing economic development by deciding to help the province that has only a small voting population.
“She is the only President who did not consider the size of a place in extending help but its potentials,” she said, adding that the President even went here seven times in her eight years as President.
-- Armand M. Galang