BAGUIO CITY – The John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC) reported its existing locators within the John Hay Special Economic Zone (JHSEZ) generated some 6,078 jobs for local residents as of November 30, 2019.
JHMC president and chief executive officer Allan Garcia claimed the number of generated jobs was 96 percent compared to its projected employment generation of 6,300 jobs for qualified residents of the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) area.
Last year, JHMC locators generate some 6,106 jobs for qualified local residents.
On consumer satisfaction, Garcia reported researchers are still conducting the required data gathering for the said purpose with experts from the Saint Louis College in San Fernando City, La Union administering the consumer satisfaction survey.
The JHMC official disclosed locators provided some P829.72 million in income, roughly 72 percent of the projected P1.152 billion income from the economic zone for this year.
According to him, there were over 64,000 tourist arrivals in the historical core for the first nine months of the year compared to the over 104,000 tourist arrivals in the economic zone last year, thus, the need for the corporation to sustain its aggressiveness in promoting John Hay, the former American rest and recreation area, as a must-see tourist destination in the city.
Garcia underscored JHMC embraced the forest bathing as one of its newest attractions to provide nature lovers with a walk through the scenic forest cover of John Hay as the area still covers 53 percent of the city’s remaining forest cover, thus, efforts are being done to sustain the preservation and protection of the city’s environment.
He added there are new locators that signed the necessary agreement with JHMC for their operations in the city while there are still other companies that signified to enter into a lease contract for their future operation within their preferred areas within the economic zone, provided that, they adhere to the stringent environmental regulations imposed by the JHMC.
JHMC is a subsidiary of the State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) tasked to administer, manage and operate all former American military bases in the country after the same were turned over to the Philippine government when the Senate rejected the supposed renewal of the bases agreement.
In 1997, BCDA leased to Fil-Estate Penta Capita Consortium some 247 hectares from the over 686-hectare Camp John hay watershed and forest reservation for its conversion into a world-class tourism multi-use rest and recreation center to help boost the identity of Baguio City as the country’s undisputed Summer Capital with the put up of the appropriate rest and recreation facilities.
However, the lease agreement was subjected to mutual restitution following the failure of both parties to deliver on their commitments that significantly affected the supposed pace of development within the declared economic zone.
By DEXTER A. SEE