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Marcos Vetoes Bill for Bulacan Airport City Ecozone

President cites 'substantial fiscal risks'.
by The reportr team
Jul 2, 2022
Photo/s: San Miguel Corp/Handout
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(UPDATE) President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has vetoed a bill that would establish a special economic zone in San Miguel Corp's Bulacan Airport City, citing "substantial fiscal risks", Malacanang said.

In his veto message, which was verified by Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles, Marcos said establishing a Bulacan Airport Citry Special Economic Zone would also also cause "conflict with other agencies' mandates and authorities".

Businesses located inside economic zones receive tax incentives to encourage investments. Examples include office centers that house BPO and manufacturing.

There was no immediate comment from San Miguel.

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Marcos said the law allows eligible companies to apply for tax incentives outside economic zones without the need to create new economic zones. He said it would also "significantly narrow" the tax base.

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The law that sought to create the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone "lacks coherence with existing laws" for lack of audit porvisions for the Commission on Audit, procedures for expropriation of land to agrarian reform beneficiaries, and a "master plan for the specific metes and bounds" of the ecozone.

Cruz-Angeles, however, clarified that Marcos fully supports the creation of the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport, and his veto was only meant to "cure the defects" of the measure.

“Presidential veto is fastest way to cure the defects of House Bill 7575 especially the provision which exempts the Commission on Audit to look into the financial transactions on the special economic zone and freeport,” Cruz-Angeles said in a statement on Sunday.

“Had the President not vetoed the House Bill 7575, it would have lapsed into law on July 4 or 30 days after the bill was sent by the legislature to Malacanang,” she added.

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In October 2020, San Miguel secured a 50-year franchise from Congress to operate the P740-billion Bulacan Airport, which is envisioned as an alternative to congested NAIA in Manila.

Under the franchise terms, San Miguel Unit San Miguel Aero City will be exempt from taxes for the first 10 years.

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