Bulacan Airport ecozone authority bill hurdles Senate on final reading
THE BILL establishing the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (BACSEZFA), which will oversee the site of a domestic and international airport, passed on third and final reading at the Senate on Thursday.
House Bill 7575 which authorizes BACSEZFA to establish, build, operate, and maintain public utilities and other services and infrastructure in the Bulacan Ecozone, was passed unanimously.
“The BACSEZFA will be a boon not only to Bulacan residents but also to the central Luzon region and the Philippines at large,” said Senator Richard J. Gordon, Sr., a co-sponsor of the bill, during the session.
The BACSEZFA is expected to coordinate with the local government as it develops the Bulacan Ecozone in accordance with the law. It is also authorized to register, regulate and supervise enterprises in the ecozone.
The zone will be equipped with transportation, telecommunications and other facilities needed to attract investment and generate employment opportunities.
The Bulacan Ecozone will be managed and operated as a separate customs territory to ensure the free flow or movement of goods and capital within, into and out of its territory.
The bill gives it the power to offer incentives such as tax and duty-free importation of raw materials and capital equipment to registered enterprises under the terms laid out by Republic Act (RA) 11534, otherwise known as the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act.
The agency will have authorized capital stock of P2 billion, with the government holding at least 60%.
If the bill becomes law, the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Finance, and National Economic and Development Authority will be tasked with drafting the implementing rules and regulations accompanying the act.
The bill goes into bicameral conference committee for harmonization with the House version. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan