Saturday, January 25, 2014

Another High Tech Fast Ferry build in Balamban

The AUSTAL Shipyard had delivered an other "State of the Art" High Tech Ferry to Papeete/Tahiti in French Polynesia

Aremiti Ferry 2 arrived in Papeete/Tahiti on Dec 22.2013

The 80 Meter ROPAX (Roll on, Roll off Passenger) Ferry features all the latest Gimmicks in Navigational technologies.
The "Bridge"

Fully Computerized Engineering Console

Navigational Console, everything is 2x

Also the Passengers won't miss any Comfort for their Voyages between the Islands of Tahiti and Moorea in French Polynesia.
The Sun and View deck
Restaurant Area

One of the 2 Passenger decks for 950 passengers

The AREMITI FERRY 2 can also hold 30 cars and 8 Trucks, the upper Car deck is elevated with a huge Hydraulic System, similar to Modern Parking Garages.

The lower car deck

8 Trucks or 40 cars per deck

The delivery Voyage from Cebu to Tahiti took 18 days with an average Speed of 20 knots (38 km/h), with Fuel Stopovers in Madang, Papua New Guinea and Suva, Fiji Islands, and was undertaken as always for AUSTAL by the delivery Company IMS Perth, Australia. 3 Engineers of AUSTAL and 2 Officers of the future Tahitian Crew were also aboard as observers on the Delivery Voyage.

As always, the Ship arrived in perfect shape and in Time for immediate Operation in French Polynesia.

Yes- Balamban is truly the Capital of Shipbuilding in the Philippines !
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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Aboitiz CIPDI bags the Outstanding Community Projects Award against 258 competitors

from Aboitizland :

Pasay City, Philippines – AboitizLand’s industrial development Cebu Industrial Park Developer’s Inc. (CIPDI) bag The Outstanding Community Projects Award at the 17th Philippine Economic Zone Association (PEZA) Anniversary and Investors’ Recognition Night at the World Trade Center at Pasay City.

President Benigno Aquino with PEZA Director-General Lilia de Lima awarded the said honor to AboitizLand President and CEO Andoni Aboitiz with Industrial Business Unit Assistant Vice-President Eduardo Pebenito and CIPDI General Manager Joseph Michael Santos.

President Benigno Aquino and PEZA General-Manager Lilia de Lima awarded to AboitizLand CEO and President Andoni Aboitiz The Outstanding Community Project Awards to Cebu industrial Park Developer’s Inc. for its commendable pro-community initiatives at Balamban.

The Outstanding Community Projects Award is “given to a developer that has strengthened its relationship with the community through programs, services, or projects which helped the community through various initiatives with substantial effects.”

“We are very honored to have been recognized for this award considering that we          had to compete with 258 other economic zones all over the country. The celebration for this award also becomes more fitting and relevant especially that this is CIPDI's 20th year of existence. Indeed for CIPDI, pursuit of world-class competency is equally paramount in protecting the environment and addressing the social needs of Balamban,” said CIPDI General Manager Joseph Michael Santos.

Santos is grateful with the good collaboration CIPDI has with different sectors of the Balamban community. He added that “more than the recognition of the unfaltering CIPDI initiatives, what is most rewarding is the strong partnership and ties with Balamban built because of various initiatives. He quipped, “The rise and increase of the spirit of volunteerism among Balambenos is already rewarding.”

For twenty years, CIPDI has been consistently nurturing the Balamban community which includes annual Brigada Eskwela, Community and School Donations, Sports Outreach and even Emergency Rescue Team Competition apart from their unwavering environmental activities such as annual Coastal Cleanup and Mangrove Planting Activities.

Aside from The Outstanding Community Projects Award, other awards include Outstanding Exporters, Outstanding Employers, Outstanding Environmental Performers, Hall of Fame Award, Billionaires Award, and the PEZA Golden Achievement Award.
Cebu Industrial Park Developer’s Inc. (CIPDI) manages the West Cebu Industrial Park located in the western coast of Balamban, Cebu. It currently houses medium to heavy industries, particularly for shipbuilding and allied activities including Tsuneishi Heavy Industries Cebu, Inc. (THICI) and its affiliates, as well as Air Liquide Pipeline & Utilities, Austal, Balamban Enerzone Corporation (BEZ), City Savings Bank, Globe Telecom, K & A Metal Industries, Linde Group, Mactan Rock Industries, Inc. (MRI), Metaphil International, Inc., and ThreeSixty Pharmacy.

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority is a government agency commissioned to facilitate the business operations of investors in export-oriented manufacturing and service facilities inside selected areas throughout the country. (PR)

An Article about Balamban in The Manila Herald by Guenther Vomberg

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Balamban, The Economic Miracle -Then and Now

English: Map of Cebu showing the location of B...
English: Map of Cebu showing the location of Balamban (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Balamban 20 years ago and now !

How Special Economic and Export Zones transform a sleepy Farmtown into a bustling Place.

In 1990 Typhoon Ruping devastated entire Cebu and left Parts of the Island powerless for weeks. Not that that really mattered much in a then sleepy town on the West Coast of Cebu named Balamban.

As a traditional farming town with no significant economic importance the People were used to frequent brownouts and power shortages. Life was slow and cozy in those days, just one Bus daily connected the sleepy Town to the City on the other side, with many stops along the way it took more than 8 hours to get there. People send the maid to the Highway to flag the bus down and only when it arrived, which was not always the case, they gathered their things and got on slowly. Nobody bothered, as time was a commodity in endless supply.
There were a handful of cars only, the Infrastructure consisted of one Road, the National Highway, with more or less developed dirt roads connecting to it.
The main Industries back then was Fish Farms and Agriculture. For the more wealthier there was only one way for their children- send them to Manila or Cebu into the colleges to find work in those cities or overseas and then hope to see them once a year during the fiesta. For the common Population there was no choice, they remained.
This all changed rapidly when in 1992 The Aboitiz Group of Companies and Tsuneishi Holdings of Japan decided to form the West Cebu Industrial Park (WCIP).
WCIP is registered as a Special Economic Zone under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA). Its locators are enjoying the tax incentives and other privileges being a PEZA-registered import/export enterprise. Those commonly called "Export-zones" have the Advantage for the International Investors, that they can gain 100 % control over their investment and also enjoy lots of tax privileges.

In the humble beginning there was only a small shipwreck facility employing some hundred people from other places and nonody really noticed until environmental concerns brought up controvery and the facility was closed.
The Town Hall was worried, there only chance of getting into the 21 century seemed to diminish, but luckily the Japanese stayed put by their pledge and did not abandon the Town.
Also the Aboitiz Group themselves started to Joint Venture with a British Shipbuilder from the United Kingdom, Babcock Marine, and started to build FBM designed Alumimium Catamaran fast craft ferries.

Other industries from Germany and France followed soon, and now the Export Economic Zone provided direct Work to about 16.000 people and countless others in the towns support sector.
One can truly say, that Balamban now has full employment, a long lost dream of many Industrial Nations.
The sleepy and boring days are over, the Town now has a full developed Service Industry of Restaurants, Hotels and Entertainment.
Its is connected with the Metropolitan Centre of Cebu City by a 44 km modern and fully lighted (!) Highway across the Mountain Ridge, providing a fast less than one hour ride with nth V-Hire Vans.
Some People even commute to work to and from Cebu City.
When the Author came to Balamban in 2002 , there was only one nationwide Distributor of Appliances and Motorcycles, renting a 20 sq meter stall next to the Restaurant. Sales was still slow, but now there are about 50 (!) of those Appliance and Motorcycle.
Signs of the new wealth.
Housing is now rapidly developing, three story commercial building shoot up everywhere. Subdivisions, both low cost and High end, are available all over town.
The tourism and Entertainment also does not sleep, with Racetracks (!), Mountain resorts, Fine diners and Live Music Places featuring bands from Cebu City.
people do not have to send their Children to school over the mountains or into the cities, as there are 2 universities having set Camp in Balamban.
Luckily this growth has had no negative Impact. The Industries strictly observe not only the Philippines, but also their own Environmental standards, and due to the Economic Security there is also an almost Zero Crime Rate.
The downside ? Maybe the traffic rush hour- but I doubt anyone complains about this twice daily little inconvenience.

One can truly say, that the "experiment" of Placing 'Work" into the Province has worked.
And hopefully this will be seen by the leaders of this Nation and put into Place all over the Rest of the Country, or maybe even Nationwide.

This Article was also published in 'The Manila Herald" :

Welcome to the Balamban News Blog !

Hello friends and fellow Balambenos!


This is the non official Blog of our beautiful Town of Balamban, Cebu.
Here one can find news, address, informations and links from Balamban and its surroundings.
All this is already somewhere in the Internet, but I will try to search and collect it here in one convenient Place.

Also there will be commentaries, small town news and happenings in the BALAMBAN CALENDAR.

In the near future we will also try find all establishments and list them on the BUSINESS Directory.

Small stories, happy and sad will be told all throughout the BLOG.

Also we will try to list EVENTS, Public and Private (on request) in our

And then there is hopefully a lare participation from the folks of BALAMBAN to write own little NEWS & STORIES, we will Publish them among our own.

And of course, there would not be a blog if we would not write the latest Gossip in the TALK OF TOWN Section.

So please stay tunes and wait for our Blog Publications.   

Yours truly

Guenther Vomberg