Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority in Trouble

A top-ranking official of the special economic zone in this province has resigned from his post, the fifth in a wave of resignation that has rocked the fledgling ecozone over the past three years.

Ramon Fernando, deputy administrator of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO), has resigned effective January 1. He was the ecozone’s no. 2 man for 18 months.

Fernando’s resignation came amid reports of in-fighting among APECO officials over policy differences.

His resignation followed that of administrator Joseph Delano Bernardo who quit in 2009, then-deputy administrator Jimmy Melendres, OIC deputy administrator Gigi Maristela and administrator Vitaliano Zabalo in 2011.

Bernardo, a former Philippine ambassador to Spain, reportedly quit for health reasons while those of Melendres and Maristela were unclear. Zabalo reportedly returned to the private sector.

Fernando reportedly tendered his resignation papers as early as December 10 and even joined the ecozone’s Christmas party last December 14.

However, Fernando said he was leaving APECO for “an exciting job in the telecoms industry.”

He said it was an “unforgettable, rewarding and learning experience” working with APECO the past 18 months.

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