LONE District of Bacolod Representative Greg Gasataya said House Bill 10284, establishing a Special Economic Zone and the Bacolod Economic Zone Authority, which he authored at the House of Representatives, has been approved by the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs.
Gasataya, in his Facebook post on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, said he filed the bill in 2019, aiming to propel and strengthen the local economic scene and provide employment to Bacolodnons.
This, he said, was a product of his conversation with Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon about their vision for the development of Bacolod City.
“The establishment of a Special Economic Zone and an economic zone authority in our city will provide economic incentives to motivate both local and foreign investors to invest in our city and boost the local commercial scene,” the lawmaker said.
He added that “this will further provide employment, business opportunities, export and comparative advantage opportunities, more competitive wages, and an increase in land and property valuation.”
Gasataya also expressed optimism that the bill will provide opportunities for graduates and skilled workers of scholarship programs to seek employment in the local scene as opposed to migrating.
“As we recover from the pandemic, it is also imperative that we propose measures to stimulate economic activities,” he said.
The lawmaker pointed out that the impact of economic zones in local economies is evident among existing ecozones.
Gasataya cited the Zamboecozones whose investments surged to P9.7 billion in 2015 from P9.8 million in 2014.
The investments in the Bataan Export Processing Zone (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,” his post stated.
He thanked Drilon, Senate Committee on Economic Affairs Chairperson Senator Imee Marcos, House Committee on Economic Affairs Chairperson Representative Sharon Garin, and other colleagues in Congress for their support in the bill.