REP. Ramon “Red” Durano (Cebu, fifth district) said he will push through with his plan to reclassify Camotes Island as alienable or disposable land.

“For my new term, I will focus on the management and development of Camotes Island, which would be very good for the whole Cebu Province,” Durano told a press conference.

House Bill 1100 reclassifies 60 percent of Camotes Island as alienable. This means it will be available for tourism-related infrastructure, like resorts and hotels, while allowing its promotion and development as an eco-tourism area.

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The bill assures the island’s lakes and mangrove areas will be protected.

In a report, Durano said Camotes Island can become a good alternative resort destination to Mactan, provided it has five-star resort accommodations and good roads for tourists.

The island is classified as non-alienable, which means non-residents of the island cannot put up structures or business there.

Camotes Island includes the municipalities of San Francisco, Poro, Tudela and Pilar. Its white beaches make it a favorite destination for tourists.

Durano hopes he will succeed with reclassifying the island this time.

Goverment offices

Other bills that Durano authored include the improvement of the Board of Accountancy (BOA) and the proposal for having a better statistical system for government offices.

The first proposal gives more power to BOA to regulate public accountants and set auditing standards.

“The BOA before does not have much power over their members. This time, the new bill will let BOA be responsible for the auditors of publicly-listed companies,” Durano said.

In the bill, BOA has the power to sue and be sued and implement sanctions against erring accountants.

The other bill Durano filed will provide the public with statistics from government agencies through the organization of a National Statistics Authority (NSA). This will be the official and controlling statistics agency of the government.

The Philippine Statistical Act of 2010 recognizes the role of statistics as a source of information and a tool for governance.

Durano said agencies right now separately collect data. This poses problems, like statistical discrepancies, inconsistencies and duplication of functions.

The Philippine Statistical System will equip the country with a dependable and competent statistical body, he said.

Agencies like the National Statistics Office, the National Statistical Coordination Board, Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics, Statistical Research and Training Center, among others, will be included in the NSA.