Senator Richard J. Gordon called on the officials of Bulacan and the other provinces in Central Luzon to work together and start an economic revolution in the region.
Speaking at the 438th founding anniversary of Bulacan on August 15, 2016, Gordon said all the local government officials in Central Luzon should work together to begin a revolution to liberate the region from poverty and to steer it towards development, which will ultimately spill over to the whole country.
“When the Regional Development Council has its next meeting, all the provinces should share their masterplans for development. Work together to make Region 3 the seat of a revolution – an economic revolution that will liberate the region from poverty. Itulak natin ang tunay na rebolusyon sa Central Luzon na magdadala ng kaunlaran sa ating rehiyon at magsusulong sa pag-angat ng buong bansa. We will do it better if we do it together,” he said.
Gordon pointed out that as early as the ’70s, he already envisioned Central Luzon to help in decongesting Metro Manila and become a hub of trade and industry by making optimal use of the HARD infrastructure – the airports, seaports and highway, which were available at that time.
“Noon pa ang vision ko ganito. Maraming nakatiwangwang na lupa sa gilid ng highway, mayroon tayong airports, seaports at highway. Gamitin natin ang mga imprastrakturang ito para mahikayat ang mga investors na magtayo ng mga factory at iba pang negosyo doon sa mga lupa sa may highway. Magatayo ng mga pabahay para sa mga empleyado, mga eskwelahan, simbahan, ospital at magkakaroon ng mga bagong komunidad. Yung mga empleyado, hindi na mamamasahe sa pagpasok kungdi magbibisikleta na lang,” the senator said.
“Today, that vision still stands but now there are more alternatives and opportunities as there are more seaports and highways available. We can be like New York, which makes use of its three airports, seaports and interstate highways, for growth and development by promoting trade, commerce, tourism, among others. All the great cities in the world are beside great rivers or bays,” he noted.
Gordon pointed out that Bulacan and the rest of Central Luzon is the Rice Granary of the Philippines but the lack of agricultural development in the country has impeded the region from gaining economically from agriculture. Flooding brought by storms and exacerbated by the denuded forests, further hinder maximum crop production.
The senator said he is also pushing for railways because trains encourage development and investments in a region since it facilitates access and movement of goods and people, noting that the United States developed through its railway system that encouraged people to move from the congested cities in the East Coast to the West Coast. And goods from the west served as a raw materials for the factories in the west.
“Meron na tayong train dati. But we lost it after the war and never really brought it back. We focused instead on roads and motor vehicles concentrated only in Metro Manila! We should have invested in an efficient railway system because it is not only good for work, being a cost effective way of commuting in terms of time and money, it also keeps the family together,” Gordon said.
“Imagine, kung may train tayo, hindi mangyayari ung sitwasyon nung batang nakausap ko dati sa Sapang Palay. At noon, nagpapaalam siya sa teacher nya na uuwi sya para magluto ng pagkain para dun sa mga nakababatang kapatid niya. Babalik siya sa eskwelahan pagkatapos. Yung mga magulang nila, lingguhan kung umuwi kasi masyadong mahal ang pamasahe mula sa trabaho nila sa Maynila kung araw-araw silang uuwi. Kung may train, mas mura ang pamasahe at mas mabillis ang byahe,” he stressed.