Latest Stories

Santiago City: In the commercial hub of Cagayan Valley


Santiago City in Isabela, “the Queen’s Province,” lies at the crossroads of the Cagayan Valley (Region 2). From Santiago, you can make your way to any part of the region, be it adjacent Quirino, Cagayan or Kalinga and Apayao.

For this reason, the city is known as the commercial hub of the Cagayan Valley.

“There are about 3,000 establishments here, most of them trading companies,” says lawyer Earnest A. Soberano, local economic and investments promotion officer.

“Last year,” he added, “we were able to collect P65 million from the 3,000 establishments.”

The budget for 2012 is P860 million.

The issuance of business permits has also been streamlined, in keeping with a mandate from the Aquino Administration. The process used to take several days, was expensive, and entailed many requirements.

“We have done away with that,” according to Soberano. “You can finish your transaction, that is, get your permit, in 25 minutes. But, based on actual experience, it’s even less than that.”

In terms of cleared checks at the clearinghouse, the volume of transactions in the city is “among the top five in the country,” the city executive shares. “Mas malakas (stronger) ang volume ditto, wholesale. The traders unload their goods here and then distribute these all over the region.”

The preferred areas of investment include:

1.) Labor-generating enterprises and manpower services;

2.) Enterprises to be established in the less developed areas of the city;

3.) Pioneering enterprises;

4.) Agricultural and aquamarine business activities;

5._ Tourism-oriented enterprises and facilities.

Major car dealers like Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Hyundai and the Chinese brands have established a presence here; and Ford Mazda is about to join the club.

There are close to 30 banks, national as well as rural; and the major banks like Metrobank, BPI and BDO have two branches.

A Robinson’s mall is set to open here, while the SM-controlled Save More market is under construction. The investments officer quoted a Robinson’s official as saying that “when we come in you can be sure the SM group will follow suit,” or something to that effect.

Places to stay in Santiago include hotels with swimming pools like Gatioan, Wilmer’s, Spring Garden, Aaron and budget hotels like the old Greenview and the new Grace Hill Econosuites.

Up and coming is the resort hotel Charina, named after its owner who started as a caterer, then set up a function hall, and now has a hotel of her own with a swimming pool.

“Even if we don’t have a seaport or an airport (the latter are in Tuguegarao City in Cagayan and in Cauayan City),” Soberano concludes, “the city is a good investment area because of the geographical location.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: commerce and trade , Isabela , Philippines – Regions , Santiago City

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Supremacist faces murder charges in Kansas deaths
  • Luzon grid power reserve ‘enough’ for Holy Week
  • Pimentel proposes incentives for companies that will hire ex-convicts
  • State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  • SBMA execs, 2 others face graft raps
  • Sports

  • My ideal weight is 140, declares Pacquiao
  • Freddie Roach: I’m satisfied; Manny Pacquiao did well
  • New-look Azkals tie Qatari side
  • San Miguel Beermen eye No. 2 slot, battle Air21 Express
  • Filipinos yield to Iraqis anew Asian club volley
  • Lifestyle

  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Summer treat for your aspiring astronomers
  • Entertainment

  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • 2NE1 returns to Manila with “All Or Nothing” Tour
  • Gary Valenciano just keeps moving
  • Noisy celeb spews venom, backs off when confronted
  • Business

  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Make a stylish statement with the all-new Yaris
  • Hearing set in Olarte case
  • BOC sues steel importers
  • BIR continues to miss collection target
  • Technology

  • Tech company: change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Philippines may watch ‘blood moon’ online
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • No travel restrictions to Middle East amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Measures set against entry of MERS-CoV
  • Japan backs PH in case before UN
  • Las Vegas union starts pickets over wages, benefits
  • Fil-Am Daly City councilor has eye on Superior Court seat
  • Marketplace