The Samar Business District will create jobs, generate income

CATBALOGAN CITY- An ambitious and multi-billion peso economic district is being envisioned to be established in the city and is aimed to create thousands of employment and provide economic activities.
The Samar Business District (SBD), covering 70 hectares encompassing six barangays of this city, is being pushed by the provincial government in close coordination with the city government.
Governor Reynolds Michael Tan, who is behind this project, says that the proposed SBD is projected to cost P4 billion and is expected to be completed in four year’s time.
“With the (establishment) of the Samar Business District, we envision  that Catbalogan City and the rest of the province will become the center of trade and commerce on Samar Island,” he said.
The 70 hectare of land to be used for the establishment of the SBD will involve reclaimed lots from the sea as Catbalogan is lacking of needed space, Tan said.
And this early, the Samar governor dismissed any possible destruction of marine resources saying they are guaranteeing that no marine lives would be affected for this ambitious project.
The detail of the project like its master plan, however, is still under study, Tan said.
But he said that the area of the proposed SBD was chosen as it is here where a tide embankment is being constructed which aim to address the perennial flooding problem of the city.
“We actually chose the location as we just took advantage of the tide embankment project there. And part of the project is the construction of some pumping stations to address any possible flooding incident,” Tan said.
According to Tan, for the project to materialized, they need at least P4 billion of which the governor has yet to divulge where the provincial government will source its funding.
But Gov. Tan did not hide his excitement on the project considering the potential it will result to the people and to the province.
For one, he said, the proposed SBD will result to job generation.
Tan said that they have proposed that for potential locators of the SBD to hire at least 80 percent of their workers from Catbalogan and other parts of the province.
Also, the city government of Catbalogan, in particular, will directly benefit the project in terms of taxes, the governor said.
On Wednesday (August 11), Gov. Tan delivered his state of provincial address (Sopa) held at the grounds of the provincial capitol building, this city coinciding the 180th founding anniversary of Samar.
During his speech, the governor disclosed what his administration has accomplishments and what he intend to do in his remaining years in office.
Among those he mentioned during his Sopa were the construction of roads, particularly, in remote villages which he said resulted to the substantial decrease of the poverty incidence in Samar.
From a high of 41.8 percent in 2015, various interventions created by the provincial government resulted to the reduction of Samar’s poverty incidence to just 22.1 percent in 2019, he said.
“And I hope to further decrease it by another four percent at least,” Tan said.
He also said that insurgency problem in the province is now addressed with former New People’s Army(NPA) members giving up and returning to the folds of the law.
The crime rate in the province has also considerably dropped from 21.9 percent in 2019 to just 10.5 percent last year.
The governor also said that he intend to continue to upgrade and rehabilitate the Samar Provincial Hospital and the six district hospitals in the province with a new one to be constructed in the town of Pinabacdao.
Gov. Tan asked for cooperation not only among officials of the province but for the public for him to accomplish all his ‘dreams for Samar.’