Leyte provincial board bares 2015 priority ordinances

By Ahlette C. Reyes

TACLOBAN CITY, Feb. 9 (PNA) – Leyte Vice Governor Carlo P. Loreto declared the passage of important legislation by the provincial board this year.

Loreto said these are landmark legislation that will greatly impact on the health, industry and disaster response in the province of Leyte.

This includes the Coconut Industry Rehabilitation Ordinance which was passed for the purpose of rehabilitating the coconut industry after Super Typhoon Yolanda heavily struck the province in 2013 causing much damage to the agriculture sector.

“Coconut farming is considered as one of the major economic base in Leyte. Rehabilitation of the coconut industry would take years and years,” Loreto said.

Another important legislation seen to be fully realized this year are the Ordinance Institutionalizing the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and the Codifying Health and Sanitation Ordinance.

Meanwhile, another important legislation, the Joint Venture Ordinance, is also pushed for its full fruition this year according to the vice-governor.

Public Private Partnerships (PPP) is presently governed by the Build Operate Transfer (BOT) Law. Under the BOT Law and its IRR, local government units can implement PPPs for local infrastructure and development projects.

Based on cost, some locally initiated projects can be approved at the local development council levels and need not go up to the Investment Coordination Committee – Cabinet Committee (ICC-CC) under the current PPP Program.

However, the Joint Venture Ordinance now proposed at the provincial board would simplify local joint ventures between the provincial government of Leyte and private partners. The ordinance would create a council under the provincial governor who will identify priority projects and secure the necessary documents for such projects.

It likewise provides for the procedures for identifying joint venture projects, selecting joint venture partners, instituting accountability mechanism for the whole venture, as well as identify sharing of income from such projects.

“The ordinance is mainly aimed at fast tracking priority projects and allowing the private sector to partner with us,” Loreto added.

It was likewise learned that the Joint Venture ordinance is a priority in the Executive Legislative Agenda and included in the Annual Investment Plan of the province of Leyte. (PNA)