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Nine local and foreign companies pledged an investment amounting to P1.3 billion in addition to the P27.5 billion the city has already accumulated from the investment forum it recently held in Manila.

Lorraine Banzuelo, development management officer IV of the Local Economic and Investment Promotion Office (LEIPO), said Monday that as of December 12,  the city government already has P28.8 billion in investment pledges.

Initially, the city government has secured P27.5 billion pledges from 13 companies during the investment forum in Manila organized with the help of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE).

Banzuelo said they are expecting the investments to create around 4,168 job opportunities.

“Maliban po sa 13 [na nauna] ay mayroon pa pong iba na nagpakita ng intensyon na mag-pledge sa city in investment. In total, we have P28.8 billion with around 4,168 employment to be generated pero estimated pa lang ‘yan,” she said.

P1.3 billion will be invested by Nautilus Hotel in Bancao Bancao, seaweeds processing in Barangay Babuyan, Crown Residence in Sta. Lourdes, Balai Marina Pension House in San Pedro, Stellar grounds events hall, Sakura Resort in San Pedro, Diamond Beach Resort in San Rafael, Drugman expansion in Barangay Model, and city beach in Barangay Bacungan.

Banzuelo said most of the investment projects are related to tourism, agriculture, food, fisheries, and education.

She added that the city government committed during the forum to take care of the investors’ needs by ensuring “ease of doing business” in Puerto Princesa City.

“Nangako sila na magtatayo sila or maglalagay sila ng projects dito sa atin. Kasama na dyan ang pag-alaga sa kanila (investors), ang pag-process ng business registration, for building permits, and for certificates of occupancy. Alam niyo ang sabi ng mga investors natin dito lang sila sa Puerto Princesa City nakaranas na hindi sila kinutungan at talagang smooth ang process ng kanilang mga papers,” she said.

She said these local and foreign companies are expected to help generate jobs for unemployed residents and ensure long-term economic growth.

She earlier said that P3.7 billion will be invested by three large corporations, one of which is Philippine leading home-builder Vista Land which is currently constructing condominiums in Barangays Sicsican and Bancao-Bancao.

Integrated property developer SM Prime Holdings, Inc.(SMPH) is also investing P10 billion to develop its 1,200-hectare beachfront properties on the west coast in Barangays Napsan, Simpocan, and Bacungan.

“Malaking company si SM Prime and they have properties on the west coast that will be developed into resorts,” she said.

A modern aqua farm and an international humanitarian medical center will also rise in Barangay Sta. Cruz as part of the P10 billion investment of Green Asia Construction and Development Corporation.

Aside from building roads and bridges, ports and harbors, and other construction projects, the company is engaged in eco-tourism development, and urban and regional planning.

The other companies that pledged investments are Oma’i Dang Maria, P10 million; APL Food Services, P15 million; Puerto Princesa Memorial Park, P50 million; The Elizabeth Residences, P200 million; Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa, P450 million; Astoria Hotels and Resorts Group, P750 million; Adventist Hospital Palawan, P1 billion; YIBU Education Technology Co. Ltd., P700 million; and Allied Care Experts Medical Center, P1 billion.

Mayor Lucilo Bayron also said earlier that investment pledges are toward the expansion of existing businesses in the city, some pioneering enterprises, and more ventures in the tourism and agriculture industries.

He said that forum is one way of unlocking the potential of the city.

“We are pitching for the establishment of additional tourist destinations, more tourism events so we can attract more tourists, more accommodations, restaurants, commercial buildings, and BPO (Business process outsourcing) buildings. We can do this and we will,” Bayron said.

Meanwhile, the majority of the companies are currently securing permits while others have ongoing constructions.