Businesses urged to invest in General Santos aerotropolis

Local businesses are urged to invest in General Santos aerotropolis as its airport landside area will be developed as a business, tourism and aviation hub.

In a virtual investment forum, General Santos (GenSan) City economic manager Leonard Flores said the GenSan aerotropolis zone (GAZ) has been included in the city’s investment priority areas (IPAs).

Flores said priority industries include green projects, infrastructure, manufacturing, tourism, and other areas relevant to the development of GAZ.

He said green projects involve the manufacture/assembly of goods and the establishment of energy-related facilities; natural resources of raw materials; minimizing or preventing pollution; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and developing renewable energy facilities and e-vehicles, including hybrid.

Flores also urged those into manufacturing, particularly of clothing and textiles; petroleum, chemicals and plastics; electronics, computers and transportation; metal manufacturing; and wood, leather and paper, to expand their businesses in the GAZ.

“We just have to help you have B2B (business-to-business) or business matching activities with the owners of the land that are alienable and disposable,” he said.

Flores also promoted identified areas surrounding the 200 hectares within the General Santos International Airport (GSIA) for private sector investments.

“We have already concretized the amendment of our investment code to cover inclusive business among those possibilities where we can further add-on to the tax incentives period. As a matter of fact, the soon-to-be-out revised investment code will provide as long as eight years for the incentive period…,” he added.

Ginalyn Fe Cachuela, project manager of SOCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City) Area Development Project Office (ADPO), said the GenSan aerotropolis (GSA) is an envisioned urban development with GSIA at its core and the anticipated development of its surrounding areas within the 25 to 30-kilometer radius.

Cachuela said the planning horizon for the full development of GSA is foreseen to happen in three phases in the short term, medium term, and long term horizons.

She said the first phase involves the improvement of the existing GenSan airport facilities, including the expansion of existing passenger terminal building, apron space, new navigational aids equipment, among others.

“On the phase two (planning) horizon, on the medium term, that’s estimated to happen (in) 2022 to 2030 –the development of the airport landside area for business, tourism and aviation,” she added.

Cachuela said the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) project is coming up with a conceptual development plan for the landside of the airport.

“That is to maximize the utilization of the areas within the airport complex,” she said. “So there are areas determined for which are already open to any locator so that has been plotted in a land use plan. And on the data of CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines), there is an estimated area as to how much area is allocated for mixed use, open space parks, navigational and support, maintenance, operations and repair, cargo facilities, passenger transport, and the road network.”

Cachuela said the third phase of the GSA planning horizon happening in 2031 to 2040 involves the expansion of the GenSan aerotropolis areas as the city becomes a metropolitan region.

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