By Emme Rose S. Santiagudo, February 16, 2020; Business World

Iloilo City — A bill creating the Metro Iloilo Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority has been approved at committee level in the House of Representatives.

Iloilo City Rep. Julienne L. Baronda said House Bill 5794 or the proposed Act Creating the Metro Iloilo Special Economic Zone (MILOECOZONE) and Freeport Authority, was passed on Feb. 11 by both the House committee on economic affairs and the committee on trade and industry.

“By giving the Ilonggos your respective seals of approval, you are letting us get closer to our dream of bringing the economy of Western Visayas to greater heights that will result in more job opportunities for the people of Iloilo City and the entire Western Visayas,” Ms. Baronda said.

The MILOECOZONE, the first such complex in the Western Visayas Region, is intended to attract more investors to Iloilo and boost international trade.

The proposed 50-hectare zone will be located in La Paz, Iloilo City, where the Iloilo International Port is located.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Director Ro-ann A. Bacal said the region is ready for such a facility.

“The region is now in the best position to attract investors since the supply of power is now stable, and soon, water will not be a problem with the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project, Phase II,” Ms. Bacal said in a statement.

“An ecozone is very much welcome in Western Visayas. We are hoping that the private sector will come in and invest.”