MANILA - Malacañang said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s veto of the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport was meant to “cure the defects” in the measure.
In a statement released on Sunday, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Marcos “fully supports” the creation of the new economic zone in Bulacan and that construction of the P740-billion international airport in the province will push through.
“Presidential Veto is [the] fastest way to cure the defects of HB 7575, especially the provision which exempts the Commission on Audit to look into the financial transactions on the special economic zone and freeport,” Secretary Angeles pointed out.
All financial transactions in government are audited by COA and the new economic zone “is no exception” she said.
Angeles said that if Marcos had not vetoed the measure, it would have lapsed into law on July 4.
“Without those necessary amendments indicated in the veto explanation, the law may be vulnerable to constitutional challenge. The delegation of rule-making power on environmental laws which is unique to the special economic zone is of particular concern,” Angeles said.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said proponents of the new ecozone can press their case further.
“Opening salvo lang naman na may veto,” said PCCI president George Barcelon said during the Balitaan sa Maynila webinar, Sunday.
The group also noted that the veto has no effect on the planned airport.
“Di naman apektado ang airport. Ang apektado lang ang mga incentives ng ecozone. Ang airport mismo, may incentives na binigay ang gobyerno, I don’t think that is affected,” Barcelon said.
(The airport itself isn’t affected. It’s the incentives for the ecozone which are affected. The airport itself already has incentives given by the government.)
The president’s sister, Sen. Imee Marcos meanwhile said the veto was “proof of the independence of the branches of government under the Marcos administration.”