Apeco chief urges senators to okay P153-M budget proposal for 2022


The Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (Apeco) urged lawmakers during a Senate committee hearing on Thursday to consider approving its initial P153-million budget proposal for next year.

“If it is possible, we would like to appeal to the honorable chairman and the members of the committee to favorably consider our original opex [operating expenses] request and capital outlay in order for us to finance the operation and critical undertakings,” Apeco President and CEO Israel F. Maducdoc said.

The National Expenditure Program has allocated P52.216 million for the ecozone regulator.

Of the P153-million budget proposal, the bulk or P86 million, has been earmarked for opex, personal service costs and maintenance and other operating expenses.

The remainder is capital outlay for construction of infrastructures.

These include agri-aqua road and road network 2 for P25 million each and a P17-million health center.

Maducdoc also reported that Apeco has 12 locators with projected investments amounting to P7.2 billion.

Most of these are involved in information technology and online gaming support services. These include Lucky Dragon Online Solutions Corporation, T&D Asia Pacific Entertainment Group Inc., Pacific Seaboard Leisure and Entertainment Corp. and Smartinfo Philippines.

Those involved in tourism and residential units are J-PEC Development Corp., Indus Pacifica Realty Corp. and Asia-Pacific Dragon Realty Corp.

Other locators are TGV Development Corp. (aquaculture and processing), Yong Cheng Group OPC (leisure resort, hotel and casino), Winstep Industrial Corp. (electronics assembly), Veabor Aviation Support Corp. (aviation support, repair and maintenance) and Yangtze Teletech Support (business-process outsourcing).

The construction of facilities for most of these projects are either ongoing or scheduled for next year.

Maducdoc said that the phase 1 of Apeco’s sewage treatment plant and underground power distribution line are currently under construction. The phase 2 for both projects is in the pipeline.

Apeco also intends to build a central water supply and ground reservoir and a fire station, he added.

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