Press Release
January 30, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara announced the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the Aurora Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) and the National Housing Authority (NHA) on 1 February to formalize the transfer of some 450 households to better home facilities provided by the NHA.

"This MOA is a milestone in the development of ASEZA. Aside from the thousands of jobs that ASEZA generates for Aurora and its goal to maximize the province's rich resources to create livelihood for its people, we fully cooperate with the local communities in providing better living facilities through the NHA," said Angara during the groundbreaking ceremonies of ASEZA this week.

ASEZA, which Angara created by legislation, recently received flak from an alleged displacement of local communities in Aurora resulting from the eco-zone's development, as well as in the Aurora's Food Basket project that cultures and upgrades high-value crops for the domestic and international markets.

Angara himself was quick to dismiss the allegation, clarifying that "the Angara family does not own any property in the 500-hectare economic zone nor the 312-ha area occupied by the food basket project. More importantly, we are not setting up these projects to displace the residents. These are public properties intended for high-value agricultural production towards Aurora's food security."

"Projects like the Coco-Coir, Coconut Seednut Farm, Carabao Center and Mariculture Farm are our family's initiatives whose aims are to provide jobs to the people of Aurora and to tap the province's rich natural resources. The continuing developments in ASEZA will generate investments and provide jobs and income to the people of Aurora, especially in the depressed area of DICADI," he added.

The signing will be attended by Angara, NHA General Manager Federico Laxa, NHA Assistant Gen. Mngr. Froilan Kampitan, ASEZA Deputy Administrator Vitaliano Sabalo, Aurora Governor Bellaflor Castillo and Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara.

Based on records of the Department of Agrarian Reform, Angara has voluntarily sold 200 hectares of prime coconut and coastal lands to the DAR for public use and residential purposes. Angara explained, "The Angara family has long and deep roots in Aurora; if we don't help in its development we don't expect others to do so."

Angara reiterated his support for the continued progress of his home province Aurora through job generation, improved research and education capabilities and infrastructure development through the ASEZA.

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