BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya said House Bill No. 10284 establishing a Special Economic Zone and the Bacolod Economic Zone Authority, which they have authored in the House of Representatives, has been approved by the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs.
“We filed the bill in 2019 aiming to propel and strengthen the local economic scene and provide employment to Bacolodnons as a product of our conversation with Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon about our vision for the development of Bacolod City,” the solon said.
Gasataya said the establishment of a Special Economic Zone and an Economic Zone Authority in Bacolod City will provide economic incentives to motivate both local and foreign investors to invest in the city and boost the local commercial scene. This will further provide employment, business opportunities, export and comparative advantage opportunities, more competitive wages, and an increase in land and property valuation.
The bill will also provide opportunities for graduates and skilled workers of their scholarship programs to seek employment in the local scene as opposed to migrating, he said.
“As we recover from the pandemic, it is also imperative that we propose measures to stimulate economic activities,” Gasataya said.
The impact of economic zones in local economies is evident in existing ecozones. The ZAMBOECOZONE’s investments surged to P9.7 billion in 2015 from only P9.8 million in 2014. The investments in Bataan Export Processing Zone or BEPZ also increased from P390 million in 2012 to P6.2 billion in 2015, not to mention the apparent development in Cavite and Clark spurred by their respective economic zones, he said.
“We are hoping that the establishment of our own ecozone and its careful implementation would result in the same kind of economic growth in Bacolod City,” Gasataya said.
They thank Senate Committee on Economic Affairs chairperson Senator Imee Marcos, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, House Committee on Economic Affairs chairperson Rep. Sharon Garin, and their colleagues in Congress for their support of the bill the solon added.*