The House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved on final reading a measure creating the Siargao Islands Development Authority (SIDA) to promote the sustainable development of the island.
With 224 affirmative votes, the chamber passed on third reading House Bill 10683 creating a government-owned corporation to be known as SIDA, which shall exercise jurisdiction over the entirety of Siargao Island and its surrounding islets.
The SIDA shall be mandated to develop Siargao Islands into a self-sustaining, industrial, commercial, financial, and investment center to generate employment opportunities.
The proposed body shall also promote productive local and foreign investments, while strictly prioritizing the protection and preservation of its natural resources and biodiversity.
Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, author of the measure, said the economic potential of Siargao is unquestionable.
“This bill seeks to spur further growth by reclassifying and converting the land from the shorelines of the main island of Siargao, and three kilometers inwards, into commercial, residential, and tourist areas,” Alvarez said.
The bill creates a SIDA governing board composed of 16 members composed of representatives of the affected local government units (LGUs), the Department of Tourism, Department of Agriculture, and the private sector.
It provides that the SIDA shall have an authorized capital of P200 million to be subscribed in full by the national government, and its operating expenses included in the annual General Appropriations Act.