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Economist support bid to make entire Cebu economic zone
June 4, 2007

Economist and former Philippine finance secretary Dr. Jesus Estanislao has
supported the bid to make the entire Cebu island into an economic zone.

“We need to be smart enough to see that not the whole country can move
together,” said Estanislao, president of the Institute for Solidarity in

He cited Beijing, Shanghai and Hainan of China which are competing against
each other for economic development.

But he said other fields should be considered such as transport and
ecology because an economic zone is not just a processing zone where
garments and the like are manufactured.

Estanislao was in Cebu Friday to witness the signing of a Memorandum of
Agreement (MOA) between the Cebu Business Club (CBC) and Makati Business
Club (MBC) at the Casino Espanol. The MOA is part of efforts to revitalize
relations between both business organizations.

Estanislao said that Cebu should propel the Philippines forward by
highlighting strategy, will, organization and the capacity to compete as
key tools.

He cited the need for Cebu to organize its customs, labor value,
electricity, water, transportation frequency and efficiency, sewage
problem, traffic congestion, reliable communication and education

”The standards of education here (Cebu) are very far from the university
standards of the best universities in Asia,” he said.

Estanislao said the present economy is based upon remittances from abroad.
”We’re sending people out with their skills. This is not a competitive
advantage. We are interested in wealth creation but not through economic
means,” he pointed out.

Estanislao also criticized the move of some politicians seeking to create
new subprovinces in Cebu.

He said dividing Cebu into fiefdoms would build walls and barriers, which
would prevent the province from producing good projects.

Estanislao urged the CBC to take the lead in moving Cebu forward and make
politicians see that politics should not be a hindrance but a tool in
getting results.

He also called upon the Cebuanos not to be distracted by the political
problems in Manila.

But he said Cebu was too small to be independent from Manila and the
entire country.

”Be the Cebu of the Philippines. Not to separate yourselves from the
Philippines but to take the lead,” he said. PNA


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