ABOITIZ InfraCapital, Inc. said that it is allotting P1.4 billion to expand its West Cebu Estate (WCE) in Balamban, Cebu.

The infrastructure arm of the Aboitiz group said it would develop 39 hectares of the total 540-hectare estate. Once completed, it is expected to generate an additional 14,000 jobs by 2024.

“The province of Cebu is well-positioned to welcome foreign and local investors as they look for high-growth areas that can support their businesses — given its strategic location, skilled population, lower cost of doing business and a well-established ecosystem of infrastructure,” Cebu Industrial Park Developers, Inc. President and Head of Aboitiz InfraCapital Economic Estates Rafael P. Fernandez de Mesa said in a statement on Monday.

The expansion will host more industrial locators in the province and include the diversification of WCE’s locator mix to include light to medium manufacturing.

The company quoted Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Charito B. Plaza as saying that the expansion will spur economic growth through the creation of livelihood opportunities.

“By giving jobs to our people, we are not just increasing their buying power, we will be creating a multiplier effect that will see more businesses growing along with the demands of the people. PEZA’s plan is for all LGUs to have ecozones, which will be an economic driver to grow smart towns, digital cities, leading to new metropolitan regions in all areas,” she said.

WCE hosts 11 locators from medium to heavy industries, and has complementary residential, commercial, and institutional components, with future development areas for commercial centers, dormitories, and residential communities.

It is owned and developed by Cebu Industrial Park Developers, which is a joint venture project of Aboitiz InfraCapital and Tsuneishi Holdings of Japan. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson