SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House Special Committee on North Luzon Growth Quadrangle chaired by Rep. Maximo Dalog (Lone District, Mountain Province) and Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatizatiom chaired by Rep. Mark Go (Lone District, Baguio City) have jointly approved a proposal to create the Northern Luzon Growth Quadrangle Development Authority which shall enhance socio-economic development in the provinces, cities and municipalities of Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
The approval of the proposal embodied in House Bill 4995 authored by Rep. Deogracias Victor "DV" B. Savellano (1st District, Ilocos Sur) was done by the committees during a recent joint hearing.
The bill aims to hasten the socio-economic development of the provinces and cities of the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region and CAR by increasing trade, tourism and investments, encouraging private enterprise, generate jobs, develop infrastructures, and advancing efforts towards peace and expansion.
Savellano said as a backgrounder, precursor offices of the proposed Northern Luzon Growth Quadrangle Development Authority were created in the past: The Northwestern Luzon Growth Quadrangle Commission, created under Executive Order No. 175 (Series of 1994), as amended by Executive Order No. 223 (Series of 1995), Executive Order No. 229 (Series of 1995), Executive Order No. 259 (Series of 1995) and Executive Order No. 373 (Series of 1996) under the Ramos Administration, and Executive Order No. 114 under the Estrada Administration.
Likewise, Executive Order No. 147 (Series of 2002), creating the North Luzon Development Plan Management Office, and Executive Order No. 239 (Series of 2003) rationalizing the Office of North Luzon Growth Quadrangle Area and defining its powers, functions and responsibilities, were likewise issued under the Arroyo administration.
In 2004, however, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order No. 357 (Series of 2004) abolishing the North Luzon Development Plan Management Office, and transferred the office and its functions and personnel to the Office of the Presidential Adviser for North Luzon. Thereafter, President Benigno Aquino III issued Executive Order No. 18 (Series of 2010) abolishing the Office of the North Luzon Quadrangle Area attached to the Office of the President.
“This author feels the necessity to bring back the office, hence this bill. The proposed Northern Luzon Growth Quadrangle Development Authority will be responsible for the overall policy direction, coordination and supervision of the entire development efforts of Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region and CAR,” said Savellano, a former governor of Ilocos Sur.
Savellano said the three regions, if developed together under a common framework of integrated and sustainable development, require a main coordinating body such as the Northern Luzon Growth Quadrangle Development Authority to effectively mobilize people in improving local industries.
“The people of Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region and CAR are rich with skilled manpower that can be tapped for economic growth and development for the area. With the skilled manpower, the proposed Authority aims to stimulate trade, investment and tourism activities, generate jobs, expand businesses and create export and domestic markets for local produce of the Ilocos and Cagayan Valley Regions and CAR with the hope of reducing poverty incidence and for advancement and progress,” said Savellano.
He said this will support the national leadership in achieving continuous programs and projects that would ensure sustained development for the three regions. “Hopefully, the proposed Authority will open avenues to expand their growth towards dealings with Asian countries and other parts of the globe,” said Savellano.
House Bill 4995 seeks to create the Northern Luzon Growth Quadrangle Development Authority to be headed by a Chairperson who shall be appointed by the President. It shall be created within 120 days after the approval of the Act.
The Chairperson shall have Cabinet rank and serve a term of six years from the date of the appointment unless removed for a cause. No person shall be appointed as Chairperson unless the person is a holder of a degree in law or a master degree in any of the following fields: economics, business, public, administration, law, management or their equivalent and with at least 10 years relevant experience in these fields.
The Chairperson must be a resident of any of the provinces of llocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region or CAR for at least five years before the appointment.
The Northern Luzon Growth Quadrangle Development Authority shall promote, coordinate and facilitate the active and extensive participation of all sectors to effect the socioeconomic development of the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region and the CAR.
It shall be responsible, in close cooperation with the local government units (LGUs) and line agencies, for the overall policy direction and coordination of the efforts of the Authority and execute the powers and functions herein vested.
The Authority shall have its main office in San Fernando City, La Union in the !locos Region. To achieve the objectives of the Act, satellite management offices may be established in Tuguegarao, Cagayan for Cagayan Valley Region and Baguio City for CAR and such other satellite offices as the Authority may establish taking into consideration the accessibility of their offices to the public.
The Authority shall have a term of 50 years from the effectivity of the Act and renewable for the same period unless otherwise provided by law.
Among its functions are to formulate an integrated development framework for Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region and CAR that is consistent with the peace and development initiatives of the National Government; review and submit to the President, for approval, a master plan for the Authority; cause the update, periodic review refinement and endorsement of the Authority plans, investment programs and development activities within the context of the master plan of the component regions; transform regions in the Authority into highly developed and sustainable centers of agriculture, natural resources, commerce, education, tourism, banking, investment and finance, information and communications technology (ICE) knowledge-based industries and other appropriate industries of the region; and recommend to and, whenever necessary, call upon the proper agencies on the technical support, physical assistance and, generally, the level of priority to be accorded to agricultural, industrial, commercial, infrastructure, environmental, and technological programs and projects soliciting or requiring direct or indirect help from or through the National Government or any of its instrumentalities.
The Authority shall also establish a comprehensive and integrated database in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region and CAR needed for planning and decision-making: review and recommend for approval by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board such specific Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region and CAR inter-regional programs, projects, and plans by the National Government and donor agencies subject to existing laws, rules and regulations; and receive and administer donations, contributions, grants, bequests or gifts, in cash or in kind from foreign governments, international agencies, private entities and other sources, including Official Development Assistance (ODA), to be used in the development of liocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region and CAR, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations.
The Authority's overall directions and thrusts shall be provided and approved, unless provided otherwise in this Act, by the Board composed of the following members: the Chairperson; the heads of the Regional Development Councils of Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region and CAR; a local chief executive among the municipalities and cities of Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region and CAR designated by the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP); the President of the Confederation of Governors, City Mayors and Municipal Mayors League Presidents of Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region and CAR; and the three representatives from the business sector, academic sector and nongovernment organization (NGO) sector to be appointed by the President, upon the recommendation of the Board comprising of one representative each from the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region and CAR. / RBB