Friday, September 25, 2020

House OKs bill creating special economic zone near Bulacan airport

Sep 15, 2020 @ 22:08
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The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a measure proposing the establishment of a special economic zone and freeport adjacent to the proposed New Manila International Airport in Bulacan.

With 205 affirmative votes, six negative votes, and one abstention, the chamber approved House Bill 7575, which would create the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport Zone.

The Bulacan Ecozone shall cover the domestic and international airport, the Airport City, and lands adjacent to the Airport City.

The bill also creates the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (BACSEZFA), which shall manage and operate the Bulacan Ecozone.

Under the bill, any foreigner who invests an amount of USD200,000 either in cash and/or equipment, in a registered enterprise shall be entitled to an investor’s visa.

Registered enterprises operating within the Bulacan Ecozone may be entitled to the existing pertinent fiscal incentives granted under Executive Order No. 226, as amended, otherwise known as the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987, and to other fiscal incentives that may be provided by law.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the bill also proposes that tax incentives given to the ecozone be subject to the Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act (TIMTA).

“It’s still performance-based, targeted, time-bound, and transparent. I wanted to make sure of that, as the main advocate of tax incentives reform,” Salceda said. “At the same time, I want the investments that will come out of this bill to be realized. The airport will be the largest single-item investment in the country’s history.”

Aside from the ecozone bill, the House of Representatives has approved on final reading a measure granting San Miguel Corp. (SMC) subsidiary, San Miguel Aerocity Inc., a franchise to establish a domestic and international airport in the Municipality of Bulakan, and develop an adjacent airport city. (PNA)

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