The Board of Investments (BOI) has commissioned urban planner Palafox Associates to draw up a master plan for a proposed industrial zone for the copper industry in Leyte.
The study, which started in January 2019, is targeted to be completed after one year, or in February 2020.
Palafox was awarded as the most responsive bidder following a public bidding conducted by the BOI for the project.
“As part of Palafox Associates’ work plan, there will be a series of consultations with local stakeholders in the formulation of the Master Plan,” the BOI said in a statement Friday, February 1, 2019.
The master plan will identify suitable areas in Leyte where copper processing and allied activities may be located, taking into consideration existing industrial zones and port facilities.
The identification of existing and planned industrial zones will include details on how to develop, promote and optimize these areas.
The plan will also identify the necessary infrastructure needed for these industries to thrive.
Once finished, the plan will then be the basis for the preparation of a feasibility study that will be used for investment promotion especially in attracting developers and locators in the region, BOI said.
The Masterplan for the Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone (LEIZ) is one of the action items under the Copper Industry Roadmap, which was drawn up by stakeholders back in 2012 yet.
The roadmap aims to develop a copper industry cluster, preferably in Leyte, to bring down the logistics costs and ensure steady power supply.
Leyte hosts the Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corporation (PASAR), the country’s only copper smelting and refining firm and one of the biggest in Asia. PASAR is located within the Leyte Industrial Development Estate (LIDE) in Isabel, Leyte.
Leyte also hosts one of the biggest geothermal fields in the country, which would ensure a stable power supply for the industry cluster.
In its statement, the BOI said establishment of the LEIZ would draw more investors to Leyte and jumpstart the revival of economic activities in the province, a large part of which was devastated by the powerful typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.
“The establishment of the LEIZ and development of a copper industry cluster in Leyte serves as our medium to long-term strategic economic objective consistent with the agency’s industry development mandate,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said.
“Once the LEIZ is in place, it will create many opportunities for micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) to thrive and generate more jobs, bringing in further development to the countryside, aligning with the objective of the BOI’s Investment Priorities Plan (IPP),” he added. (Ventures Cebu)