BIDA bill to ‘level up’ Boracay as Special ECOZONE

In a new and surprising twist, the proposed Boracay Island Development Authority (BIDA) bill has been ‘leveled up’ with a proposal to declare Boracay as a special economic zone and for BIDA to exist as a Government-Owned and Controlled Corporation (GOCC).

Moved by Congressman Eric Yap, vice-chair of the House Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization, the bill, he said will be submitted with changes and refinements, including the designation of Boracay Island as an economic tourism zone.

Congressman Eric Yap during the Zoom meeting Wednesday morning

The motion was seconded by Aklan 2nd District Congressman Teodorico Haresco, who said that he is supportive of the BIDA version introduced by Yap and Davao City Congressman Paolo Duterte.

“I request the Committee to consider my bill moot and academic as I support the version of Congressman Yap and Congressman Duterte 101 percent,” he told the members of the Committee via zoom meeting this morning.

Haresco was referring to HB 4175 he filed on August 27, 2019, which proposes the creation of the Boracay Island Council.

He previously said the island doesn’t need an “Authority”, just a “Council”, to regulate the establishment, operation, and maintenance of utilities, and other services and infrastructures.

As a special economic zone, the three barangays on the island—Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Brgy. Balabag and Brgy. Yapak—will be managed pursuant to RA 7916, otherwise known as The Special Economic Zone of 1995, and RA 9593, or the Tourism Act of 2009.

GOCCs are controlled and supervised under the Office of the President./INews

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