Gordon the leading voice of Central Luzon in the Senate
Senator Richard J. Gordon reminded Central Luzon voters the importance of having an own voice in the Upper House, leading to the region's development.
Gordon, who hails from Olongapo City and has roots in Pampanga, said that the Philippines should take advantage of the thousands of hectares in Region III waiting to be used for economic and agricultural development.
“[We must push for] Central Luzon as the Central Granary of the Philippines. We should be the economic firehouse in Asia,” Gordon told Pampanga-based residents and reporters in a short dialogue.
“If you use your land for investment for business marami tayong magagawang kabuhayan and we die happy may mga taong nagkaroon ng kabuhayan,” he continued.
It may be recalled that the Gordon-authored Regional Investment and Infrastructure Coordinating Hub (RICH) bill for Central Luzon hurdled Congress' deliberation but was vetoed by Pres. Duterte.
The proposed measure would have created a one-stop shop that would converge all business, government, agriculture, and education sectors for an optimized operation of industry.
According to Gordon, tax incentives would have also attracted a lot of foreign direct investments, which are desperately needed in the time of economic recovery from the pandemic.
“Pag naipasa ‘yang RICH bill ulit lalakas ang lahat ng kabuhayan [sa Central Luzon],” remarked Gordon.
“The other thing that I'm pushing is ‘yung tulay, tulay from Naic, Cavite going to Corregidor, lalabas sa Mariveles...Magkakarooon ng transportational system dito and we will create a super economic zone in Asia,” continued Gordon.
A monumental project that will benefit more than 43 million people, the bridge will connect the two major points of Manila Bay and will utilize the five airports and four seaports in the region.
Planned to operate soon is the proposed airport in Bulacan, the former Sangley Point airport, and the existing Manila, Subic, and Clark international airports.
Serving as former Olongapo mayor for a decade, Gordon raised the city and the region from rubble and ashes when he spearheaded the relief effort of several areas in the region brought about by the 1990 Luzon earthquake and 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
Through Gordon's dynamic leadership as Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chairman, the former United States naval base was transformed into a premier investment hub and tourist attraction, generating more than $3 billion in investments and 200,000 jobs.
Gordon also pushed for the passage of the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992, which led to the development of SBMA and Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.
Already in the brink of collapse, Gordon overcame serious doubt after establishing the Freeport Area of Bataan in Mariveles, which has created over 100,000 jobs.
The re-electionist garnered almost 3,000,000 votes from the region alone in the 2016 election, where he placed fifth overall in the overall tally.
Gordon visited the provinces of Pangasinan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, and Tarlac over a span of five days to impart his vision with local leaders and residents.