During the Congressional Candidatesâ€™ Forum held last Friday, April 8, at Bohol Wisdom School Gymnasium, incumbent Bohol First District Representative Rene Lopez Relampagos has given voters a foresight of the programs, projects, and legislation that he will be spearheading or lobbying if ever elected into office for his final term.
Asked to choose two among the top economic drivers of Bohol â€” tourism, agriculture, IT/BPO, and OFWs â€” Relampagos stated that tourism and IT/BPO will be his top two priorities.Â Responding to the question, Relampagos said that while all three districts share a common potential in terms of tourism, the first district, however, has a lower potential in agriculture with the industry concentrated within the second and third districts. To this, the incumbent congressman said that the establishment and development of the IT/BPO industry in the province will be eyed once re-elected.
Relampagos said, in a separate instance within the forum, that the BPO industry has been growing exponentially over the past years, contributing $20 billion.Â It is now trailing closely behind the remittances of OFWs which is conservatively estimated at $25 billion.Â The development of the said industry will help generate one million more jobs.
The solon also emphasized on the problem of out migration, â€œan often neglected problem in Boholâ€ wherein Boholanos are forced to move out of the province because of the lack of opportunities within the province.Â Relampagos then stressed that the development of the IT/BPO industry will create job opportunities that will keep Boholanos from leaving the province and subsequently, help boost the economy of Bohol.
In order to pave way for this, Relampagos said that he will continue to help spur infrastructure developments within the province to lay ground for the IT potential in the province.Â This will be done through lobbying of road projects including concreting and widening as well as improving telecommunication within the province.
In terms of tourism, Relampagos will continue to lobby for the construction and improvement of tourism roads and other infrastructure projects such as the completion of the Bohol International Airport in the island of Panglao as well as the development of the International Cruise Ship Port in Catagbacan, Loon.Â He also hopes that Bohol would someday have its own Economic Zones within the next three years.
While agriculture may not be part of his top two priorities, Relampagos clarifiedÂ in a separate statement that the said sector will not be left behind under his term in office.Â He said that he will continue to help grow and support the agricultural sector within the first district.