November 28, 2012


I take umbrage with the malicious and vicious allegations made in an article that ran today in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Allow me to refute several points:

1. "P2 Billion has been squandered for APECO between 2008 and 2012."

  • This figure is maliciously exaggerated. Total NCA Releases to APECO during the period amounts to only P915,787,357.00. Out of this amount, Cash-in-Bank as of November 11, 2012 is still Php135,729,391.93.

    • Php 78,136,219.70 - Personal Services

    • Php145,158, 989.76 - MOOE

    • Php556,762,755.61 - CO

2. "APECO enjoyed additional funds through insertions in the budgets of DTI, DA and DOST."

  • None of the amendments outlined in the Committee Report for the 2013 General Appropriations Bill include insertions for APECO.

3. "There is no development in the land covered by APECO, and it still remains barren."

  • Not true. Since 2010, there have been construction activities in the area that has generated 700 jobs.

    • Corporate Campus - 91.9% completed

      • Site Development

      • Admin Building

      • Entrance Plaza

4. "APECO Lands were forcibly acquired."

  • On the issue of land acquisition, APECO until now has never resorted to the right of eminent domain or expropriation as a mode to acquire lands. For APECO, land acquisition has always followed a regular pattern of negotiation and purchase.

5. "APECO offers to buy land at an unfair price"

  • The average price of the lands acquired ranges from P240,000 to P300,000/ha. Some lands were bought at P600,000--P700,000 since these were already developed and had other establishments including a three-storey house, fish ponds, community hall, basketball court, etc.

6. "APECO has yet to attract a single locator to do business in the freeport"

  • At least 5 five locators are already doing preparatory work in the area which include:


      • Bamboo Processing, Production, Manufacturing, Export Renewable Energy

      • Manpower Requirement: 200

      • Initial Investment: P35 million


      • Construction and Manufacturing

      • Manpower Requirement: 30

      • Initial Investment: P10 million


      • Agriculture and Seaweed Processing

      • Manpower Requirement: 160

      • Products: Food Grade Application from Carrageenan Seaweed

      • P4 million for development (proposed)

  • Around 400 people are currently employed because of infrastructure projects inside the Ecozone which include the APECO Administration Building, Site Development, Construction of APECO Gates and Staff Housing.

  • At least 500 more workers will be employed with the start of construction for the APECO Hotel, NHA Housing Project, Ice Plant and Cold Storage.

7. "120 people--a mix of farmers, IPs, and fisherfolk--are marching now against APECO, allegedly representing 3,000 families from Casiguran."

  • How can 120 people represent 3,000 families? The area covered by APECO--Barangays Cozo, Esteves, Dibet, San Ildefonso, and Culat has only 1,336 households.

Barangay# of Households
Cozo 440
Dibet 220 (only 20 are actually covered by APECO)
Esteves 496
San Ildefonso 400
Culat Forest Zone

8. "APECO displaced Dumagats and Indigenous Peoples"

  • The Provincial NCIP has NEVER called APECO's attention to any violation of the IPRA and has even commended APECO's work with the Dumagats and other IPs.

9. "Casiguran sits on the Typhoon Belt."

  • Data from PAGASA shows that between 1995 and 2007, 219 tropical cyclones entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility. 11 of these directly hit Manila, but only 6 hit Casiguran, where APECO .

10. "APECO Location is not feasible"

  • Even now, APECO is valuable as an alternate passageway for Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya and Isabela. And as the only airport and seaport complex in the Pacific Rim in the Philippines, APECO will be the most strategic site, given its waters are at an average of 24 meters deep and is protected from the elements by the San Ildefonso Peninsula. It will become an important shipping hub on the Pacific Side.

11. "APECO Airport is not being used by the public."

  • It is being used to ferry prospective investors of APECO.

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