Northern Luzon gearing towards becoming a ‘Super Region’

BAGUIO CITY — Rep. JB Bernos, newly elected Chairperson of the House Special Committee on North Luzon Growth Quadrangle, dreams of turning the North into a “Super Region” with the help of meaningful legislations.

The Abra lawmaker elected on Aug. 7 by the House to lead the special House committee for Northern Luzon’s growth admits that while the regions of Northern Luzon are not lagging behind other regions in the country, there are many things that still need to be done for the people and for the communities.

He says that the committee will focus on maintaining and improving economic growth as well as the delivery of social services throughout Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

Bernos reveals that 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%, while Cagayan Valley and CAR posted 3.3% and 7.3% growth, respectively, 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,” he added.

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.

To prepare for the onslaught of typhoons in the coming months, Rep. Bernos said, “It is also important to use our oversight powers to prepare the communities for torrential rainfalls, landslides, and flooding.”

The Abra lawmaker enjoins his fellow North Luzon legislators to push for laws that really 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. ●