Philippine government considering creation of Tacloban City special economic zone to help the typhoon-stricken city



Creation of Tacloban City special economic zone sought

From the Manila Bulletin

by Charissa Luci
December 31, 2013 (updated)

The House independent bloc is calling for the creation of the Tacloban City Special Economic Zone Authority to ensure the uninterrupted rebuilding of the typhoon-stricken city.

Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez led the filing of House Bill (HB) No. 3640 which seeks to tap “the physical, geographic and natural attributes of the Tacloban City coastline area.”

“Tacloban port was a haven for international ships and even carriers as evident during the relief operations of some foreign countries in the aftermath of typhoon ’Yolanda’ last November 8, 2013. The port can be easily accessible by big commercial ships plying the route of the Asia-Pacific Region. It is also a few kilometers away from the Tacloban City airport which has plenty of rooms to be upgraded into an international airport. In light of the foregoing, approval of bill is earnestly sought,” the head of the House independent bloc said.

HB 3640 provides that the proposed Tacloban City Freeport, being a separate customs territory, shall provide incentives to ensure the free flow and movement of goods and commodities within the freeport area and their exportation therefrom.

The group cited the need to pass the measure since the Philippines has been lagging behind its Asian neighboring countries.

“The performance of our neighboring countries in the Asian region such as Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan had always been a source of envy despite the limited resources they have compared to the abundance our country enjoys. And now Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and even Vietnam are surging ahead, outpacing even other western countries. Particularly, because the proposed ecozone offers an environment that can match the capabilities and resources of a comparable area anywhere in the country, this bill may help the country, at least, to keep pace with, not necessarily, to get ahead of the pack,” they said.

 

Click here for full article in the Manila Bulletin

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