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NEDA: Zamboanga City will grow sans Regional Center


The Regional Director of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) stressed that Zamboanga City will grow even without being the regional center.

NEDA Regional Director Arturo Valero said in an interview that, “even if Zamboanga City is not the regional center, the city will still grow.”

He said the city should better focus on being a commercial and industrial center.

Earlier, studies were already conducted by the Presidential Management Staff pursuant to Malacañang Memorandum Circular 11 and its amendatory circular 11-A.

MC 11, issued last December 11, 2010, ordered a 30-day moratorium on the transfer order of the Regional center to Pagadian City. This expired last January 21 but Malacañang extended the moratorium through MC 11-A giving regional agencies concerned the chance to submit their report of the inter-agency study on the regional center transfer issue and its impact on the region.

The Presidential Management Staff is collating all reports after which the same shall be submitted to President Benigno Aquino III for action.

The stand of the City and the House Deputy Speaker for Mindanao Beng Climaco is still for the return of the Regional Offices to Zamboanga.

The Congresswoman believes that Zamboanga City has the edge and advantages of being the regional center given all the existing facilities necessary and required for a regional hub specifically in terms of infrastructures, connectivity and communications among others.

She added that as the regional center, Zamboanga is efficiently serving not only to the residents of Region 9 but also the neighboring areas of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi, whose residents are also transacting businesses in the city because of proximity.

The Regional Center Transfer was stipulated under Malacañang's memorandum during the time of former President now Pampanga Representative Gloria Arroyo, dated November 9, 2004, and that of former Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, who issued, in behalf of Arroyo, on November 12, 2004, Memorandum Circular No. 75, directing the transfer of the regional offices of all departments and agencies from Zamboanga City to Pagadian City, pursuant to Executive Order 429, series of 1990.

Section 1 of EO 429 reorganized Region IX and designated the City of Pagadian as the regional center and the City of Zamboanga as the commercial and industrial center.

By R.G. A A. Go

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