A SENATOR filed a bill to establish a special economic zone in Marinduque to help boost economic growth in the island province located off the south-central part of Luzon mainland.

Senator Maria Josefa Imelda R. Marcos’ Senate Bill No. 2270 seeks the creation of the Marinduque Special Economic Zone (MAREZ) in the town of Santa Cruz.

One of the main industries eyed for MAREZ is technology and online gaming centers.

The bill says the ecozone will be open for hosting online gaming centers and establishments as well as provide a technology hub that will be home to enterprising start-ups.

“Moreover, the establishment of this ecozone will offer a technological hub which will pave the way for technological start-ups and further encourage expansion of domestic companies,” according to the bull’s explanatory note.

Ms. Marcos said, “This will also establish and maintain a one-stop shop to facilitate ease-of-doing-business for prospective investors,” she added.

Under the bill, the MAREZ shall be developed into a decentralized, self-reliant and self-sustaining industrial, commercial/trading and investment center, among others, with provision for suitable residential areas.

The national and local governments will provide the zone with transportation, telecommunications, internet cables and other facilities to attract investors.

As in other ecozones, it will be managed as a separate customs territory and locators will get incentives such as tax and duty-free importations of raw materials, capital and equipment.

The measure includes the creation of the MAREZ Authority, which will manage and operate the zone. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas