Proposed Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone Act OKs

December 12, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 169 views

THE House of Representatives on third and final reading a bill converting the Leyte Industrial Development Estate (LIDE) located in the municipality of Isabel, Province of Leyte into a special economic zone, consisting of an industrial estate (IE), export processing zone (EPZ) and free trade zone to be known as the Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone (LEIZ).

The chamber approved House Bill (HB) No. 24 by a vote of 255 against three on Monday. “It is declared the policy of the State to encourage, promote and accelerate the sound and balanced industrial, economic and social development of the country. The establishment of special economic zones shall attract legitimate and productive foreign investments in strategic locations in the country. It shall generate employment and increase productivity and individual, as well as family incomes, thereby enhancing the quality of life of the Filipino people,” according to the measure.

The authors of the bill were Speaker Martin G. Romualdez, House Majority Leader Manuel Jose “Mannix” M. Dalipe, and Reps. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez, Jude A. Acidre, Gerardo P. Valmayor Jr., Mario Vittorio “Marvey” A. Mariño, Elizaldy S. Co, Joey Sarte Salceda, Mikaela Angela B. Suansing, Nelson L. Dayanghirang, Teodorico T. Haresco Jr, Sonny “SL” L. Lagon, Allan U. Ty, Horacio P. Suansing Jr., Lex Anthony Cris A. Colada, Sergio C. Dagooc, Rodante D. Marcoleta, Jose C. Alvarez, Kristine Singson-Meehan, Ray Florence T. Reyes, Midy N. Cua, Ambrosio C. Cruz Jr., Jose “Bong” J. Teves Jr., Luisa Lloren Cuaresma, Solomon R Chungalao, Peter John D. Calderon, Stella Luz A. Quimbo, Michael B. Gorriceta, Josephine Veronique “Jaye” R. Lacson-Noel, Ricardo T. Kho, Raymond Democrito C. Mendoza, Franz Pumaren, Janice Z. Salimbangon, Alfred C. Delos Santos, Ralph G. Recto, Arnie B. Fuentebella, Rodolfo “Ompong” M. Ordanes, Samuel S. Verzosa Jr., Wilter Y. Palma, Leody “Odie” F. Tarriela, Eulogio R. Rodriguez, Ramon Rodrigo L. Gutierrez, Jose Gay G. Padiernos, Mercedes K. Alvarez (M.), Rosemarie C. Panotes, John Tracy F. Cagas, Roy M. Loyola, Ching B. Bernos, Ramon Jolo B. Revilla, Harris Christopher M. Ongchuan, Princess Rihan M. Sakaluran, Carl Nicolas C. Cari, Robert Ace S. Barbers, Antonio “Tonypet” T. Albano, Edwin L. Olivarez, Divina Grace C. Yu, Jurdin Jesus M. Romualdo, and Richard I. Gomez.

Section 4 of the bill provides that the LEIZ, subject to the concurrence of the affected local government units of Leyte, shall be expanded to cover the following areas: (a) The land area that comprises the former Leyte Industrial Development Estate, hereinafter referred to as the “LEIZ Core Area”; (b) The land areas located within municipalities adjacent to the Municipality of Isabel and the Municipality of Merida, Province of Leyte and the City of Ormoc, hereinafter referred to as the “LEIZ Non-Core Areas”; and (c) The land area covered by the Eastern Visayas Regional Growth Center, hereinafter referred to as the “LEIZ Tacloban North.”

The Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone Authority (LEIZA) shall manage and operate the proposed LEIZ. Under the bill, LEIZA shall have an authorized capital stock of two billion no par shares with a minimum issue of P10.00each, the majority shares of which shall be subscribed and paid for by the National Government and the LGUsembracing the LEIZ.

As an incentive for ecozone enterprises or investors, Section 14 of the proposed legislation provides that any foreign national who invests an amount US$200,000.00either in cash and/or equipment, in a registered enterprise shall be entitled to an investor’s visa, subject to certain qualifications. Registered enterprises of the LEIZ may also be entitled to pertinent fiscal incentives granted under Title XIII (Tax Incentives) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended.

Banks and financial institutions to be established in the LEIZ shall be under the supervision of the BSP and subject to existing banking laws, rules and regulations. In the case of foreign investments, a duly registered entity or enterprise within the LEIZ shall have the right to remit earnings from the investment in the currency in which the investment was originally made and at the exchange rate prevailing at the time of remittance, subject to the provisions of Republic Act No. 7653, otherwise known as “The New Central Bank Act”, as amended.