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Malls boost economic growth

ROXAS, Isabela—Mayor Benedict Calderon said the opening of two commercial malls here is expected to boost this town’s economic growth with the creation of jobs and attracting investors on the central part of the Mallig plains of the province.

As a rice and vegetable producer, Roxas has been emerging as a commercial hub being the drop-off point of agriculture products from southeastern Apayao.

Last week, the multi-million worth Xentro Mall was opened simultaneously with Savemore, a chain of groceries under the SM Food Retail Group in the same complex.

Joining Calderon during the launch were Isabela Governor Faustino Dy III, local officials and businessmen from the cities of Santiago and Cauayan along with neighboring towns.

He said Xentro chief executive Alexander Cruz leased the property of the local government last January along Don Mariano St., Barangay Rizal.

“The establishment of these commercial malls in this part of Isabela province will surely raise the economic status of the municipality, also being the gateway to neighboring Apayao province,” Calderon said, adding that the Farmers Market building was just opposite the street.

“Our new graduates from Isabela State University-Roxas Campus would not need to go far to seek employment.”

Calderon said new landmark in the first-class town of the province is expected to generate more than 1,000 jobs more, a project under the public and private partnership by the local government.

“If we want to make Roxas the most progressive town in Isabela, we need to be aggressive for development,” he said.

Production records show that the town’s 26 barangays average about 6.5 metric tons of vegetables every copping season.

According to traders, Roxas supplies among other crops, eggplants to Cagayan Valley, the eastern part of Cordilleras down to Urdaneta.

Calderon said the 18,480 hectare-town is a significant rice producer with about 5,600 hectares devoted to grains.

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