Bacolod Councilor Caesar Distrito yesterday said he will recommend the approval the request of Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. to convert a portion of the Paglaum Sports Complex in Brgy. 38, Bacolod City, as an Information Technology Park.
Last week, Marañon requested the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod to endorse their application with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority for the declaration of a property at the Paglaum Sports Complex as an ICT Park.
The proposed IT Park consisting of 12,675 square meters will be known as the Negros First Cyber Park.
Distrito, chairman of the SP Committee on Laws, Ordinances and Good Government, presided over the hearing yesterday at the Bacolod City Government Center, and said he will prepare a report and recommendation endorsing the project to the PEZA.
He said the project will create 1,800 jobs for call center agents.
Distrito said his committee, the lead committee in the hearing, however, appeale to the provincial government to spare the trees and the Bacolod City Water District well that is within the property, during the development of the site.
He said that, according to the representative of the City Planning and Development Office, the Paglaum Sports Complex is within the commercial area of Bacolod so the construction of an IT Park is allowed.
The ground floor of the IT Park will be offered for commercial lease while the second and third floors will be utilized by the call center, he added.
Distrito said if the Paglaum Sports Complex is declared as an IT Park, the provincial government will be exempted from payment of income tax for the next five years.
During the committee hearing, City Treasurer Annabelle Badajos revealed that the first IT Park declared in Bacolod City, which is TeleTech, has started to pay 5 percent income tax to the government after the five year tax holiday had lapsed.
Distrito said the national government has remitted to Bacolod City P250,000 which is the 2 percent share of city in the income tax of TeleTech. The remaining three percent is the share of the national government, he said.
The committee hearing yesterday was attended by Provincial Administrator Enrique Pinonggan and former Bacolod Councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, representing the province, Councilors Archie Baribar, Sonya Verdeflor, Elmer Sy, Em Ang and Al Victor Espino, chairman of the IT Focus Team.*CGS