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Negros town sets agro-industrial pace

by Jennifer Catan-Tilos
[ ] August 23, 2011

VALENCIA, Negros Oriental—Mayor Enrique Gonzalez has an agricultural base to tackle food security and a geothermal resource to push for industrial expansion.

At the recent orientation by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority for Negros Oriental offcials, he underscored the role of the Valencia Special Economic Zone in generating growth particularly jobs and livelihood not only in the province but across the region as well.

“We aim to maximize the operation and economic potential of the town’s industrial zone,” he told participants in the orientation-seminar that included representatives from the Provincial Planning and Development Office, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology, Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce, and the Investment Promotion Center.

President Benigno Aquino III proclaimed last April the special economic zone in Barangay Palinpinon where four geothermal powerplants are run by the Energy Development Corp. to generate electricity for supply to Negros, Panay and Cebu.

The Palinpinon I started in 1993 with three 37.5-megawatt steam turbines joined by Palinpinon II and its three modular plants—Nasuji 20 MW commissioned in 1993, Okoy 20 MW in 1994, and Sogongon 40 MW in 1995.

The power base is suitable for locators led by Valencia Hydraulic System Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of Hydratech Norway, producing undersea equipment, working boats for Norwegian fish farms, equipment for the oil industry among other high-value goods with a 70 percent output exported to Europe and 30 percent for the local market.

Situated about 10 kilometers from Dumaguete City, capital of Negros Oriental, Valencia’s farm sector yields abaca, corn, copra, flowers, vegetables and root crops and fruits such as rambutan and lanzones.

PEZA is a government agency promoting business and investment through incentives to export-oriented manufacturers and service providers operating in declared economic zones throughout the country. PIA

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