Gordon touts RIIC for Central Luzon

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga֫—Senator Richard Gordon is sponsoring a bill in the Senate seeking to centralize the resources and infrastructure projects for the comprehensive development of Central Luzon into a “progressive and resilient” region in the country.

Called the Regional Investment and Infrastructure Corp. of Central Luzon, the proposed government firm aims to consolidate the infrastructure, natural and human resources that will trigger economic development in the seven provinces of Region III, the senator said.

The proposed Senate Bill No. 1325 authored by Gordon, chairman of the Senate committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, will be composed of 19 members, including four members of non-government organizations appointed by the firm’s chairman.

During a consultative hearing attended by governors, businessmen and stakeholders here, Gordon explained that the RIIC will encourage all cities and municipalities in the region to prepare, adopt and implement their comprehensive and detailed independent plans, including zoning and urban planning.

“The master plan must be made in consultation and coordination with the appropriate national agencies and local government units for sound and balanced economic and social development,” he said.

Under the bill, all vast and vacant but idle land along the expressways will be opened for investment, like industrial sites, freeports, tourism enterprises, and other establishments that will generate employment for the poor.

The bill also seeks to integrate and coordinate all infrastructure projects near airports, seaports, freeports and tourist establishments for easy access to the people.

“Within the areas of integration, schools, churches, hospitals, malls, and housing projects, both government and private, will be constructed to minimize traffic in the main thoroughfares,” Gordon said.

He told local government officials here that the RIIC shall likewise handle the bidding of projects under the unsolicited build-operate-transfer or build-operate-own schemes, or through bids under the applicable government procurement laws.

According to Gordon, the corporation can also grant or administer all fiscal and non-fiscal incentives available under the Foreign Investment law, the Omnibus Investment Code, the Philippines Economic Zone Act of 1995, and Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

The government firm will be composed of the chairpersons of the BCDA, Clark Development Corp., Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Aurora Pacific Economic Zone, and Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan.

Also included in the corporation are governors of the seven provinces of Central Luzon, the chairperson of the Metro Manila Development Authority, Director General of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, chief operating officer of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprises Zone Authority, and four members of non-government organizations to be appointed by the chairperson.

Topics: Senator Richard Gordon , Senate , Central Luzon , Regional Investment and Infrastructure Corp. , Senate Bill No. 1325
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