Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez and her husband, House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez have sought to convert and expand the Leyte Industrial Development Estate into the Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone to further propel economic growth.
In filing House Bill 1419, the Romualdez couple sought the conversion of LIDE in the municipality of Isabel, Leyte and expand it to include other municipalities in the province of Leyte adjacent to LIDE and the Eastern Visayas Regional Growth Center in the City of Tacloban into LEIZ.
“The establishment of an ecological industrial zone aims to attract more investors and businesses to locate in Leyte and the City of Tacloban, jumpstarting the revival of economic activities in the area and provide more employment opportunities. The establishment of the LEIZ and development of a copper industry cluster in Leyte will serve as our medium to long-term strategic economic objective consistent with the country’s industry development goals,” the Romualdez couple said.
The proposed zone, they said, is expected to initially house potential locators in the field of copper wire rod casting facility, downstream copper industry such as but not limited to copper wire producers, major industrial concerns that need power, and port facilities such as steel, and copper-using industries.
“However, the long-term objective is develop LEIZ into a self-sustaining and ecologically sustainable industrial, commercial and investment zone that will put in place wide-reaching employment and investment generation mechanism as well as incentives to ensure the free flow and movement of goods and commodities within the free port area and their exportation from therein,” they added.
The LIDE is a 425-hectare special economic zone established by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1978 through Letter of Instruction 962, series of 1979.
The said letter decreed the establishment of an “industrial estate” in Isabel, Leyte, and entrusted to the Leyte Sab-a Basin Development.Authority the duty and function of implementing the project.
With the abolition of the Leyte Sab-a Basin Development Authority, ownership of LIDE was transferred to and is presently is owned by the National Development Corporation which is represented by the LIDE Management Corp., the estate managers of LIDE.
The EVRGC is an economic zone approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 1210 issued on April 23, 1998 by then President Fidel V. Ramos, with the City Government of Tacloban as its developer and operator.