Lawmaker eyes “Super Region” status for Northern Luzon


BAGUIO CITY — Northern Luzon can become a ‘Super Region’ by maintaining its growth and development through meaningful legislation, House of Representative’s Special Committee on North Luzon Growth Quadrangle chairman JB Bernos dreams.

Rep. Bernos, now sitting as the newly elected chairperson of the House Special committee admitted that “there are many things that still need to be done for the people and the communities” even if  Northern Luzon is “not lagging with other regions in the country.”

The Abra lawmaker getting elected Wednesday evening by the House to lead the special House committee says, “(we) will focus on maintaining and improving economic growth as well as the delivery of social services” throughout the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

Of the three regions in Northern Luzon, only Ilocos Region posted an increased 6.5% economic growth in 2018 from its 2017 figures of 5.8%. Cagayan Valley and CAR posted 3.3% and 7.3% growth, respectively, which were lower than their 2017 figures.

“It is imperative now to ensure that the economic activities in the regions are strengthened, especially in agriculture, forestry, and fishing activities that are the predominant sources of livelihood in North Luzon,” Rep. Bernos said.

“We will also ensure that the government’s social service programs will be utilized to reach communities throughout the area.”

Rep. Bernos commits to tackle matters vital to the three regions: infrastructure development and disaster risk reduction and management.

“We are home to many tourism sites – churches, mountains, rivers, food tourism sites, and beaches; to propel visits and revenue generation, we have to look into improving infrastructure facilities,” he said.

He warned that in the next four months, Northern Luzon will be bracing again for the onslaught of typhoons, “so it is also important to use our oversight powers to prepare the communities for torrential rainfalls, landslides, and flooding”.

The Abra lawmaker thus enjoins his fellow North Luzon legislators to push for laws that matter for the people and communities.

“People always say that we live in the ‘Solid North’, so, together, let us show the country what we can do and achieve as a super-region,” he urged. #