In 1995, the CEZA (Cagayan Economic Zone Authority) was created to enrich Cagayan to become a “self-sustaining industrial, commercial, financial, tourism, and recreational center” to attract investors locally and internationally.
Now that 2023 is here, plans are in motion to begin a digital transformation initiative known as CEZA 3.0. Composed of 5 pillars to support its vision, strategy, development, and execution, it’s considered the most aggressive and progressive digitization project the zone will undergo and pushes it to become the most advanced and digitized economic zone in the country.
More than just gaming licenses
One pillar that stands out for CEZA 3.0 is the registry for decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). In December 2022, the zone announced that it would be welcoming registrations for DAOs, organizational entities of blockchain, cryptocurrency, and web3 companies. This service will be offered through a joint venture between two partners.
The first is the North Cagayan Gaming & Amusement Corporation (North Cagayan), a Master Licensee for interactive and virtual gaming. The second is the CBT Group (CEZA Business Technologies), which will serve as the exclusive technical arm to deploy web3, blockchain, payments, and gaming solutions. The joint venture will also offer development, consultation, and accreditation and will be available on CEZA.org, the official portal for CEZA 3.0.
According to Ralph Santos, CEO of CBT, offering all of these services under a single B2B menu will be the first of its kind globally.
“Given the diversity of our products — from banking, infrastructure, and platforms to blockchain, licensing, and exchanges — no other business in the world will be offering what we’ll offer. Businesses now have a single place online to acquire end-to-end solutions that enable them to reach their goals,” said Santos.
CEZA 3.0 will motivate investors with a “concept to operation to revenue” service, including incorporation, registration, and tokenization with banking and payment solutions with an option to list or utilize foreign currency exchanges or cryptocurrency exchanges already accredited by CEZA.
According to North Cagayan president Mr. Basilio (Jiji) M. Rodriguez Jr., the zone’s value proposition will be rooted in the fact that the next version of the zone will become a true one-stop shop for global businesses.
“There are many DAO registries around the world, and the same goes for any of the other products or services now on offer. But nowhere in the world can a business come to a single place to find them all. This convenience should attract more businesses to locate here, eventually building the cluster that truly creates CEZA 3.0,” said Basilio, who added that CEZA 3.0 would make an economic impact not only in the zone but across the Philippines.
Ushering in CEZA 3.0
CEZA secretary Jamie R. Escaño supported the joint venture from the beginning and believes these efforts will catapult the zone into CEZA 3.0.
“Attracting global business boils down to more than just the products and services. Organizations want to operate in an environment they know is safe, transparent, and principled. CEZA 3.0 is expected to combine ethics and innovation in regulation.” said Escaño.