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THE Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) will start building this month a corporate and commercial center as a well as launch rehabilitation works in Port Irene.

In a statement on Monday, the investment promotion agency said the P426-million corporate and commercial center will rise on up to 40 hectares in Sitio Punti, Barangay Rapuli.

The so-called CEZA Global City will have institutional and retail areas, a conference hall, a dining area, offices, and a CEZA corporate center, among others.

CEZA Chief Raul L. Lambino said two buildings will be ready for occupancy by early next year, filling the demand for offices of the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport’s first 26 Financial Technology principal licensees.

Commercial banks and a fresh batch of business locators in the tourism and manufacturing sectors are also setting up offices in the corporate and commercial centers.

For the planned rehabilitation of Port Irene, six new warehouses are slated for construction amid rising demand for space by port users importing construction materials and supplies and a variety of loose cargoes, according to CEZA.

Port Irene is being positioned as the leading international port in the Northern Philippines, capable of accommodating panamax and cape-sized vessels.

To further improve the Freeport, CEZA recently commissioned a master development plan for the entire 54,000-hectare special economic zone and Freeport as well as feasibility studies, including financial viability, for the various projects approved by the CEZA board.

These include the construction of a proposed convention center and sports complex, coastal boulevard, fintech hub and duty-free mall, power and water plants, and a cyberpark. — Janina C. Lim