TUGUEGARAO CITY — The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with up-and-coming tech firm Converge ICT to build the freeport’s “digitally-enabled” backbone.
Raul Lambino, CEZA administrator and chief executive officer, announced in a press statement that the economic zone must “build a digitally smart and ready Special Economic Zone in order to attract major investments, and this MoU is a major step in addressing that need.”
Lambino said he signed the memorandum with Converge ICT president and CEO Dennis Uy over the weekend. Financial terms of the deal were not revealed.
Converge ICT has access to underground fiber-optic cable and aerial distribution network and has extensive experience in installing, operating and maintaining a nationwide broadband service, according to Uy.
The economic zone gave Converge ICT permit to exercise its Congressional franchise and provisional authority to “install, lay fiber, operate and maintain” optic-cable within CEZA’s territorial jurisdiction, which includes the whole of Santa Ana, home of Port Irene, and several islands of Aparri farther west in Cagayan province, the memorandum said.
Converge ICT has proposed to install an “underground micro-duct backbone conduit” as well as “underground and aerial distribution and last-mile aerial fiber optic cable” within the economic zone.
“All existing overhead or aerial cables, as well as new installation, would be relocated underground for safety reasons,” Lambino added.
The installation will eventually be extended to the newly opened Cagayan North International Airport in Lal-lo town.
Lambino said that CEZA’s overall strategy is to have a digitally-enabled and safe economic zone within its jurisdiction.
To stabilize its power needs, Lambino said power distributor Meralco is ready to step in amid a projected surge in demand at the economic zone.
In a proposal, Meralco cited its “accomplishments beyond the franchise area of Metro Manila and its suburbs” to support its bid to supply the zone and freeport an estimated 10 to 15 megawatts of power just for 2018 alone. — Bill Visaya (PNA)