Boost to Visayas economy eyed

Visayan Daily Star
September 26, 2019

Invest Negros Occidental - Albee Benitez Economic Affairs Consultant

MAKATI CITY – The Visayan Bloc congressmen and governors met Tuesday night to discuss ways to consolidate the Visayas to further boost its economy, former Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said yesterday.


The meeting, attended by about 40 congressmen, including those from Negros Island, and two governors, was hosted by Benitez at his residence at Forbes Park.


They discussed ways to promote ease of doing business in the Visayas by creating a one-stop-shop system, he said.


Proposals were also solicited for connectivity infrastructure to link all local government offices to become smart cities, he said.


His brother, Rep. Francisco “Kiko” Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) had earlier filed House Bill 45, seeking the creation of a Visayas Development Authority.


He said the Visayas is popularly known in the Philippines and abroad as a tourist destination.

As of March 31, 2017, there were 39 cities and 369 municipalities in the Visayas.


Of the 369 municipalities, 278 are left behind in terms of economic growth and development and are identified as 3rd to 6th class towns, he said in the explanatory note of his bill.


“All these 408 cities and municipalities, given the right opportunity for growth, will definitely exceed their maximum potential for development,” he said.


He also said his bill seeks to encourage investors to help those 3rd to 6th class municipalities in the Visayas through investment by providing incentives through lowering the corporate income tax for corporations located in 3rd to 6th class municipalities and which are subsequently engaged in agro-industrial, industrial, commercial, tourist, banking, investment and financial enterprises.


It is imperative that Congress exercises its mandate to effect inclusive and sustainable growth, he said, stressing that growth must include and reach all for a “One Visayas, Equal Visayas”.*