Bohol Island Special Economic Zone Gets Green Light from House Panel

The House Committee on Ways and Means has approved a bill that seeks to establish the Bohol Island Special Economic Zone (BISEZ) in the towns of Loon, Tubigon, Calape and Maribojoc.

The bill, authored by Bohol Rep. Edgar M. Chatto, aims to attract direct foreign investments and create more jobs and economic opportunities for the province.

According to Chatto, the BISEZ will diversify Bohol’s engines for growth and development aside from tourism and agriculture.

He said the proposed ecozone will be a hub for light manufacturing, agro-industries, medical tourism, utilities enterprise and cruise tourism.

The BISEZ will cover the areas of Sandingan and Cabilao Islands, which are known for their rich marine biodiversity and potential for eco-tourism.

It will also include the Loon Tourism Corridor, which connects the port vicinity to the town proper, and the Loon-TEZ Bohol Tourism Road Network, which links the ecozone to other tourism destinations in the province.

Chatto said the BISEZ will take advantage of Bohol’s strategic location in the Central Philippines and its deep natural harbor along the Bohol Strait, which is suitable for the development of port bulk transport terminal and container yard.

He added that the BISEZ will also complement the development of the Bohol Business Park (BBP), which will be located at the Tagbilaran City Airport area once the new Bohol Airport in Panglao Island becomes operational.

BBP is intended for the development of mixed but complementary prime areas for commercial, business and office spaces, tourism and high-technology uses, as well as for an information technology park.

Chatto expressed his gratitude to his colleagues in the House of Representatives who supported his bill, as well as to the Committee on Economic Affairs, Trade and Industry, Appropriations and Ways and Means, which recommended its approval.

He also hoped that his bill will receive the same support from the Senate and other national government agencies that can assist in the development of the BISEZ.

The Bol-anon lawmaker said that with the establishment of the BISEZ, he envisions Bohol to become a more progressive and globally competitive province that can offer a better quality of life to its people.

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