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Davao City government to review TRIAD agri-tourism area as possible economic zone

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Durian fountains adorn Quezon Park in front of the old Davao City Hall. -- PHILSTAR

DAVAO CITY — The Davao City government will reassess the status of the 105-hectare Three Ridges Integrated Area Development (TRIAD), launched in 2012 as an agriculture and ecotourism investment site, for possible modification into an agri-industrial economic zone (ecozone).

Lemuel G. Ortonio, head of the Davao City Investment Promotion Center, said the review is in line with the city’s program of establishing ecozones to attract more investors.

The Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. has also been pushing for ecozones, which business officials say is the preferred set-up for many foreign investors because they provide clarity in infrastructure quality and investment incentives.

Mr. Ortonio said TRIAD, a city government-owned property in the Catigan-Eden-Tagurano areas in southwestern Davao, has enough space for an ecozone.

He noted that under Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) rules, an industrial zone should at least be 25 hectares.

Under the city’s tourism masterplan, TRIAD is classified as a natural tourism zone ideal for low-impact residential resorts, retirement villages, leisure farms and home-stays.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ortonio also said that a private developer is considering setting up an ecozone in Bunawan, on the eastern side of the city.

He did not identify the company, but said there have been initial discussions with PEZA officials in Manila.

“So far they are still in the planning stage as they are still drafting their masterplan. No definite development yet,” said the city official, adding, “We are hopeful.” — Maya M. Padillo