Leaders of the business sector threw their support to Senator Dick Gordon’s proposed bill seeking the creation of an investment corridor by optimizing the use of available infrastructures.
Speaking before the 26th North Luzon Area Business Conference, Gordon called on the Metro Olongapo Chamber of Commerce, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), and other delegates from the business sector to work with him in creating the Regional Investment and Infrastructure Corporation (RIIC) which aims to attract more investors into the country by taking full advantage of the road network system, the airports and the seaports that are in place in the Central Luzon area.
“Central Luzon is the only region that has three airports like New York – Subic, Clark and Manila. Plus, it has three seaports – Subic, Mariveles and Manila, four if we include Batangas complemented by a network of highways. We have to optimize the use of these infrastructures to promote development. Let’s work together and map out a future for our country,” the veteran legislator said.
“I have been saying this as early as the ’80s, These infrastructure have been put in place for good reasons and it would be such a waste of precious resources if we do not fully utilize them. Central Luzon and Northern Luzon does not only have three airports (Subic, Clark, NAIA), but three seaports (Subic, Mariveles, Bataan & Manila) connected by major highways NLex, SCTex, TPLex, Olongapo-Gapan Highway, and plenty of available large tracts of lands for industrial Ecozones, (EPZAS) Tourism Zones (Tiezas) Agricultural Zones. CL will be connected soon directly to South Luzon with Batangas port. We can provide tax incentives for companies and housing groups to move to Central and Southern Luzon. We can decongest Metro Manila and relieve its traffic congested and overburdened port and airport with this plan,” the seasoned lawmaker added.
The senior senator explained that his bill, Senate Bill No. 1325 or the “Regional Investment and Infrastructure Corporation of Central Luzon,” proposes that the infrastructures that are already in place in Central Luzon should serve as an economic engine of growth, to promote and encourage entrepreneurship and to create livelihood, jobs and business opportunities, not only in Central Luzon, but in the nearby regions and, ultimately, in the whole country.
He added that special economic zones such as Tourism Enterprise Zones, Agro-Industrial, Agro-Processing Ecozones, Export Enterprises and Agro-Industrial, Agro-Processing and Agro-Tourism Ecozone Enterprises may be built near or around the NLEX-SCTEX-TPLEX road network to utilize the idle lands abounding both sides of the highways.
For their part, the business leaders supported Gordon’s initiatives, committing to work together for the country’s economic development by maximizing the use of infrastructure to open more investments that would create more jobs and livelihood opportunities.
PCCI President George Barcelon, PCCI North Luzon Vice President Alfonso Lao, and the business organizations’ other officials vowed to support Gordon bill.
“We rise to the senator’s challenge to work with him in creating the Central Luzon industrial and infrastructure corporation, and turn it into the country’s business hub. He is right, we should take advantage of the infrastructures that are already in place to open up more investments,” Barcelon said.
For her part, Bing Sibal-Limjoco, vice president of PCCI’s Philippine Business Conference, stated:
“We fully support Sen. Gordon in promoting economic development. We will work together to create more jobs, as he said, by putting to optimal use the available infrastructure, not only in Central Luzon, but in the whole country. His proposal would really usher in much-needed economic development,” she said.