The House of Representatives’ committee on government enterprises and privatization has approved a proposed measure to create the Eastern Visayas Development Authority to spur investment promotion and implement economic development strategies in Region 8.
Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez and her husband, House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, are the principal authors of House Bill No. 1155 which seeks to create the EVDA.
“With EVDA, we can ensure that our investment priorities and promotion strategies are in sync with our development needs and our regional strengths, such as our geographical location, our skilled human resources, and our immense tourism potentials,” the party-list lawmaker said.
The proposal serves as proof of their commitment to empower local government units in the Eastern Visayas region, she said.
The panel would still have to wait for the approval of the House committee on appropriations, chaired by Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, on the measure’s budget component before its endorsement for plenary passage.
“For example, a foreign investor interested in investing in Eastern Visayas need not go to all the local government units in the regions or to a disinterested national government agency. He doesn’t even have to be in Tacloban. But through EVDA, one can get the right and concise information and support that he or she needs,” the Leyte lawmaker said.
“There is a need for the people of Eastern Visayas to build our confidence in the future,” he added.
According to the Romualdezes, Eastern Visayas plays a very important role in the country’s economy due to its location, serving as island bridges between the northern island of Luzon and southern region of Mindanao.
“One of the most ecologically diverse regions of the country, the three islands of Samar, Leyte, and Biliran are blessed with land, mineral, energy, and marine resources, making it favorable for agricultural, fishery, and industrial potentials. Its geothermal resources have also been tapped, producing electricity for the national power grid. Its coconut, abaca, and other agricultural produce have contributed toward increasing the national economic supply. But in spite of its immense potentials and vast resources, Eastern Visayas remains one of the poorest regions in the country today,” read the proposed House Bill No. 1155.
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