Economy


Poro Point plan deadline moved




Posted on October 07, 2013


THE SUBMISSION of the master plan for the development of the 146-hectare Poro Point Freeport Zone in San Fernando, La Union, has been moved to Oct. 16 after the original Oct. 15 deadline was declared a holiday, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said over the weekend.

Poro Point Management Corp. has identified areas of the freeport zone, visible in the upper-left corner of this photo, to serve as information technology and industrial parks. -- www.poropointfreeport.org
“It’s been moved to Oct. 16 since Oct. 15 is a holiday,” BCDA President Arnel Paciano D. Casanova said in a text message over the weekend.

Malacañang has declared Oct. 15 a regular holiday in observance of Eid’l Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice.

“Palafox [Associates] is already finalizing their proposal. They already made their last presentation,” Mr. Casanova noted.

The BCDA head had earlier described the draft proposals submitted by the architecture and urban planning firm as “promising”.

The master plan will outline steps to attract investors and locators to the area, and the development of the Poro Point Freeport Zone is expected to help achieve this goal.

Part of the plan includes the improvement and upgrading of the San Fernando airport and the development of a terminal shopping mall.

BCDA opened the bidding to create the master plan on Feb. 25, and Palafox won on May 7. The firm beat five others for the P8-million project.

BCDA has said that there is a lot of interest in the Poro Point zone from business process outsourcing and light manufacturing companies.

Once the agency approves the master plan, it will hold another auction for the construction contract.

Poro Point was made a freeport zone on July 27, 1993, after President Fidel V. Ramos issued Proclamation No. 216, declaring the area of the former Wallace Air Station a special economic and freeport zone.

The government envisions San Fernando to be the “prime city of Ilocandia” by 2020. It is 90 minutes away from Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Taipei; three and a half hours away from Japan, Singapore and Korea; and four hours away from Thailand and Malaysia, making it an “ideal springboard” for access to these markets, Poro Point Management Corp. -- a subsidiary of the BCDA -- said on its Web site.

BCDA is the agency tasked with the disposition and development of former military lands. -- Daryll Edisonn D. Saclag