Sunday, September 8, 2013

One-stop shop on port papers agreed In North Philippines economic summit

Northern Phils. Economic Summit.  Bureau of Customs
 Commissioner Ruffy Biazon (left) shakes the hand of
Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. (right) after
the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement during
 the first Northern Philippines Economic Summit held
 at the Sison Auditorium inside the Capitol Complex
in Lingayen last September 6.  The MOA involved twenty
 four regional and national agencies including the
 host province of the event that aims to make trade relations
 and documentation in North Luzon easier
and faster.  (PIO Photo by Jun Moran)
LINGAYEN – Twenty four agencies involved in the processing of import and export papers today agreed to work together in setting up a system that will make trade documentation in Northern Philippines easier and faster. A memorandum of agreement was signed by those agencies at the conclusion of the first Northern Philippines Economic Summit held at the Sison Auditorim inside the provincial capitol complex. Signatories to the agreement were led by Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon representing the national government agencies and Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. representing local government units in the area. Its main feature was the creation of the North Philippines – Government Assistance and Public Support System (NorthPhil GAPSS) tasked to actualize the system of one-stop processing of trade papers. In his address to participants to the summit, Governor Espino called on top officials of the national agencies involved to help in the concerted effort to complete the Port of Sual project and make it fully operational as a containerized commercial port soonest. He pointed out that despite its being the biggest province in North Luzon, its vast natural resources, its two big power plants, its large pool of highly educated manpower, Pangasinan neither has a functioning commercial seaport nor a commercial airport. “We find it ironic that, in spite of its superior area, favorable geography, strategic location and its vast reservoir of natural resources, the economic potentials of Pangasinan have remained largely untapped, because it lacks the vital facilities such as a commercial seaport and an airport, whose enormous economic benefits have long been enjoyed by the other luckier provinces in Northern Luzon,” the chief executive of the country’s most populous province pointed out. “We have large deposits of mineral resources, highly educated and skilled lab or force, and two power plants with a combined generating capacity of 1,545 megawatts available for industrial and other business locators within the province. But for the most part, all of these are still waiting to be put to productive and sustainable use,” he stressed. A succeeding presentation made by Philippine Export Zone Authority (PEZA) Dante Quindoza, he revealed that while Baguio in the Cordillera region has two special economic zones, and La Union has one at Poro Point operated by the BCDA , Pangasinan does not have one. PEZA admitted there had been a proposal to built an industrial estate in Sual, Pangasinan, location of the country’s biggest power facility, but this has remained unacted. In a similar vein, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) submitted to the summit organizers a manifesto pressing for the development of additional special economic zones in the Ilocos Region. The business chamber batted for the promotion and development of the Laoag City Special Economic Zone, the Ilocos Sur Special Economic Zone, full development and use of the Poro Point Freeport and the Sual Industrial Estate. (PIO)

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