Central Luzon congressmen lauded the passage in the Senate of Senator Richard J. Gordon’s bill which seeks to create an investment and infrastructure hub in the region that will open up opportunities and spur development.
Senate Bill No. 1997, also known as the Regional Investment and Infrastructure Coordinating Hub of Central Luzon or RICH, was passed on third and final reading last Monday. The bill aims to maximize the use of available infrastructures, natural resources and manpower to bring in jobs and capital to the region, which will also help decongest Metro Manila.
Rep. Geraldine Roman of Bataan’s 1st district said the bill will set a standard for the rest of the regions in the country.
“It is time that we get our act together and tap our assets and resources while guaranteeing at the same time that the concerns of the different LGUs and provincial governments will be adequately addressed. For the longest time ever, we’ve been talking about developing our region…But all of that have remained on paper and in talk. It is about time that we start the ball rolling,” Roman said.
Rep. Lorna Silverio of Bulacan’s 3rd district said, “Talagang ang kailangan po ay makapagbigay tayo ng trabaho…In support of this bill of Sen. Gordon, that is the very reason we filed this counter bill in the House of Representatives. We are fully in support of this bill.”
Rep. Jose Enrique “Joet” Garcia III of the Bataan’s 2nd district hailed the bill, saying Gordon’s proposed measure would stimulate progress not only in Central Luzon but also in the whole country.
“I’d like to emphasize na talagang kailangan natin itong bridge as proposed by Sen. Gordon kasi it’s regional, it’s localized and customized for our needs. It will help every municipality, province set up their own economic zones that is catered for their locality. So napakahalaga po, hindi lang para maging progresibo ang mga lalawigan sa Central Luzon ngunit maging ang buong bansa,” said Garcia.
Rep. Victor Yap of Tarlac’s 2nd district said the bill will maximize the potential of the region.
“Sa representation ng Tarlac, masaya kami dito sa inisiyatibo na ito kasi hindi talaga nama-maximize iyong potential ng probinsiya namin. Ang jewels are lying all around, unpolished, so to speak. Definitely, as pointed out, and with this bill, we can make a collaborative, joint, competent effort together how we can masterplan, make an action, which is very important,” Yap said.
Rep. Jose Antonio Sy Alvarado of Bulacan’s 1st district said the bill will serve as a safety net to ensure that the economic zones, government services and infrastructures will work as conduit for economic development, not only for Bulacan but for the whole region as well.
“Isang napakalaking pagkakataon para sa buong Central Luzon na patuloy pang mas bumilis iyong pag-unlad natin. Huwag na po sana nating sayangin ito at mapagkaisahan po natin ito,” Sy said.