New growth corridor seen to rise in Pacol
By Roy San Ramon NAGA CITY --- The first-ever integrated farm-livelihood cum agri-tourism complex may soon rise along a green expanse under the shadow of Mt. Isarog thru public-private initiative, banking heavily on initial and sustained collaboration among land owners of adjacent properties in the inner farm lands of the Pacol-Salinguigue-South Carolina growth corridor. This was bared by City Mayor John G. Bongat after meeting with property owners last Monday afternoon at the eco-farm owned by the Perez Family in Km. 10, Bgy. Pacol this city, at the back portion of sprawling Haciendas de Naga, so far the biggest real estate and resort development site in the area. Attended by owners of private estates within the corridor, the meeting was organized by the city government to discuss the landowners’ plans for the development of spa, resort, pili orchard, cottages, farm-oriented orphanage and pili factory, with representatives from the DTI provincial office, City Engineers Office, City Planning development Office, and the Arts, Culture and Tourism Office, as well as the Camarines Sur II Electric Cooperative (CASUREC II) , and the Metro Naga Water District (MNWD). The private landowners who attended the meeting and participated in the discussions were Engr. Boy Aman of Haciendas de Naga, Richard “Toti’ Rocha of Deca Homes, Bong Aspe of 1st Colonial Grill, Fr. Allan Dialogo of a church-backed charity foundation, and the Perez family represented by Maria Lydia Perez-Lomibao and Joe Perez of the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry that hosted the meeting at their farm. Aman’s Enjoy Realty is currently preparing the ground works for a light industrial plant within the 105-hectare Haciendas de Naga in a joint venture with a Japanese multi-national company. Rocha’s Deca Homes is presently building a low-cost housing project within the zone and may provide tourism-oriented shelter facilities in the future. Businessman Bong Aspe who is a native of nearby Magarao, Camarines Sur but has food business interests in both Legazpi City and Naga City said his company which owns a estate adjacent to the Madrigal housing project is mulling to put up a spa and wellness center within the corridor that will be comparable with the wellness hubs in Thailand and other tropical tourist destinations. Fr. Dialogo whose foundation owns two hectares of land facing the Perez property said it has been their plan to put up an orphanage center wherein his wards will be involved in livelihood projects. “We can also provide the spiritual needs of the clients and visitors once the planned agri-tourism complex becomes operational. Maria Lydia P. Lomibao of J. Emmanuel Pastries – The House of Pili said their family enterprise is on expansion mode with its increasing export market. He said that their 7-hectare property where pili and cacao trees have been planted will be put up with a factory for exportable pili food products and complimentary plant for native crafts, pili essences, bottled fruit juices, and other livelihood projects. She said that foreign investors and buyers of native food products would like to see that the producers themselves have plants or factories that are of global standard. Both Aman and the Perezes are amenable to the idea of donating portions of their lands for new road if necessary to ensure road transport access and connectivity among the adjoining estates. The stakeholders, along with concerned government agencies, agreed to meet again with technical men, engineers and planners working to consolidate their plans and start a blueprint for the area’s integrated agri-tourism complex, under the guidance and inspiration of the city government, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Science and Technology, and the Department of Agriculture, among others. Also present during the meeting was Pacol Barangay Chairman Josue Perez. Tony Pasia, whose family owns the Penafrancia Resort nearby said the initiative is another welcome development by Mayor Bongat in the upper barangay of the city.