TINGOG party-list has renewed its commitment to support the proposed Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone (LEIZ) after its technical working group convened last week to kick off the development of the LEIZ master plan in order to attract more investors and turn Eastern Visayas into an industrialized region.
“We affirm our commitment towards the realization of the LEIZ as an important component of our region’s development. With more industries in Eastern Visayas, there will be more jobs to help realize our vision to increase family income in the region,” said Philip Jude Acidre, Tingog second nominee.
Acidre maintained that Tingog is strongly committed to push for the passage of needed legislation that would provide necessary legal framework for the creation of the LEIZ.
Tingog expressed gratitude to Ginggay Hontiveros Malvar who represented the party as focal person for the LEIZ national technical working group.
“Tingog’s commitment is first and foremost truly to the mission, not only the position. From its inception up to now, it has always been our pleasure to be part of the exploratory efforts on the proposed LEIZ,” said Acdire.
He added that Tingog’s vision is always coupled with a plan.
Acidre said the region’s industrialization policy should be back on its track to generate more jobs and uplift the people from poverty.
The industrialization policy must also be responsive to present needs and attentive to ecological realities, he added.
Acidre said the expansion of LIDE into the LEIZ will attract new industrial locators and drive the manufacturing activities in the area, noting that no new industrial companies have moved into LIDE for almost 30 years since its establishment.
“Despite the modest gains, it cannot be denied that objectives that were envisioned for LIDE were not fully realized,” Acidre said.
Established in 1978, LIDE is home to Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corporation (Pasar), the country’s largest copper smelting and refinery plant whose total copper output is more than half the nation’s entire copper industry production; Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Corporation (Philphos), once the largest fertilizer production and processing plant in the country; and Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company, then a strong player in the minerals industry.
However, Lepanto has since then stopped operations while Philphos has yet to resume full operations after the 2013 Super Typhoon Yolanda. Also, Pasar is operating at half the capacity it did before the typhoon.
“Almost three decades after, we have yet realize our vision of a competitive regional economy.
That is why we need not only to bring more industrial locators to LIDE, but also engage with light-to-medium industries that could benefit from the infrastructure that is already in place,” said Acidre.
Acidre cited that the region can even double the copper industry output if it will further develop the copper industry’s downstream.
“Did you know that one of the by- products of copper processing is gold and silver – which can lead to the development of a local jewelry industry?” he said.
LIDE, a 425-hectare special economic zone in the Philippines and dubbed as the centerpiece of the country’s industrialization plan, covers the towns of Palompon and Isabel and Ormoc City.