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Building boom hits Cabanatuan

SEEN along the stretch of the Cagayan Valley Road in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, is a billboard announcing “SM City Cabanatuan soon to rise.”

The soon-to-be-constructed mall will bring to five the number of posh shopping malls operating in this country’s “Biggest Little City.”

“SM City’s top honchos are putting up an SM City branch here because of our city’s strategic location, Cabanatuan being Nueva Ecija’s center of trade and commerce and the gateway between Metro Manila and Luzon’s southern and northern provinces, ” said city engineer Lauro Pangilinan.

The city has adequate infrastructure facilities including roads and bridges, telecommunications, water and electric supply, and public transport, the sine qua non for a viable and sound business operation, he said.

SM investors are also attracted by the city’s low business tax rates, peaceful and orderly condition and other investment incentives as a one-stop shop and tax holiday for new business applicants.

Big-time investors in banking, residential subdivisions, supermarkets and other business and industrial enterprises were similarly drawn to do business in what was once the Philippine version of “the wild, wild west,” Pangilinan said.

To make sure the Cabanatueños benefit from the investment inflow, the city government headed by Mayor Jay Vergara has entered into an agreement with the SM City management and other concerned business establishments where Cabanatuan residents will be given priority in the latter’s hiring of personnel.

SM City Cabanatuan alone is expected to generate 10,000 new jobs.

As of 2011, there were 46 operating banks and 71 other financing and lending institutions, 98 housing subdivisions, seven memorial parks, and 3,980 other registered business establishments in the city. Last year 75 commercial buildings were constructed and this year, many more are being constructed.

Cabanatuan is a 63-year-old component city of Nueva Ecija which is being proposed for conversion into a highly urbanized city, Pangilinan said.

Once the proposal is approved by the residents in a plebiscite, Pangilinan expects more investments for the city.






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