Bill creating Central Luzon’s Regional Investment and Infrastructure Coordinating Hub hurdles House panel

Published January 4, 2021, 1:32 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

A bill seeking the creation of Central Luzon’s Regional Investment and Infrastructure Coordinating Hub to create jobs and business opportunities for Filipino workers has hurdled the House Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization.

(MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

House Bill No. 7745, principally filed by Bataan 2nd District Rep. Jose Enrique “Joet” Garcia III, was approved by the House panel, chaired by Parañaque 1st District Rep. Eric Olivarez,  before Congress adjourned for a month-long Christmas break on December 19.

“With the establishment of a Regional Investment and Infrastructure Coordinating Hub in Central Luzon, Metro Manila will be decongested, as industries and populations will be dispersed to other locations in Central Luzon by granting incentives thereto, thereby helping solve Metro Manila’s long standing traffic and congestion problem,” Garcia said. 

The vice chairperson of the House Committee on Appropriations said the development of special economic zones in the areas of Central Luzon through his proposed hub must be encouraged, citing that it will create business and job opportunities for the Filipino workers. 

“This is in line with the government’s policy to encourage, promote, induce, and accelerate a sound and balanced industrial, economic, and social development of the country,” he said. 

Garcia said his measure seeks to develop policies and programs that promote entrepreneurship and attract investments, thus, creating more jobs and business opportunities for the people. 

It seeks to decongest Metro Manila by dispersing industries and population to Central Luzon, and to improve the quality of life by developing sustainable communities where residents live near where they work and where institutions such as schools, universities, hospitals, utilities, among others, are within close proximity, he said.

“The bill also seeks to optimize the use of the interconnecting highways and railways in Central Luzon; seaports in Subic, Mariveles, Aurora, and Manila; and airports in Subic, Clark, and Manila to serve as an investment corridor for Central Luzon and eventually the whole country,”  the House leader said. 

HB No. 77545 provides for the creation of a  Regional Investment and Infrastructure Coordinating Hub for Central Luzon to be called RICH. It shall be placed under the supervision of the Office of the President. 

Under the bill, the RICH, through its 12-man Board of Directors is tasked to develop and facilitate the construction of infrastructure projects, particularly those that enhance national competitiveness and create employment and business opportunities; to promote the establishment of special economic or freeport zones, and other development programs and projects in Central Luzon; and administer all fiscal and non-fiscal incentives.

The measure provides that the RICH shall have an authorized capital stock of P2 billion, which shall be divided into 20,000 no-par shares fully subscribed and paid for by the national government.

 
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