Rejection of Bulacan airport ecozone bill shows 'independence' of gov't branches: Imee

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 03 2022 02:14 PM | Updated as of Jul 04 2022 08:07 AM

Exterior design studies for San Miguel Corp.'s proposed New Manila International Airport project in Bulakan town, Bulacan. Handout
Exterior design studies for San Miguel Corp.'s proposed New Manila International Airport project in Bulakan town, Bulacan. Handout

MANILA — The rejection of a measure creating the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone is proof of the independence of the branches of government under the Marcos administration, Sen. Imee Marcos said Sunday.

"Trabaho lang, walang personalan at wala ring kapatiran. We recognize and uphold the President's prerogative to veto any bill, but are deeply disappointed the Bulacan ecozone has been canceled," she said in a statement. 

She added: "In truth, this is unfinished business from Secretary Carlos Dominguez's tenure, during which all new ecozones were vetoed from 2016 until today."

Imee is the older sister of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, who vetoed the proposed measure establishing the BACSEZFA over "fiscal risks" and its "lack of coherence" with the country's laws.

In her statement, Imee said that in voting in favor of the creation of the BACSEZFA, the Senate that an ecozone would help create jobs for communities outside of Metro Manila.

"Local government units outside Metro Manila that were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic are in dire need of revenue and jobs that can be multiplied by locating investors in a special economic zone where the New Manila International Airport broke ground this year," she said.

Imee added that "Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) has this early opportunity to synchronize the positions of Congress and the Executive department on the creation of new economic zones which are not prohibited under the law on Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises."

The ecozone was supposedly going to be built inside the Bulacan airport complex in Bulacan's Bulakan town, the franchise to operate of which was given to San Miguel Corp (SMC). 

The new P740-billion international airport would have a capacity of 100 million passengers every year, SMC earlier said.

Sen. Joel Villanueva said that while he finds the decision of Marcos to veto the bill unfortunate, considering its potential to create jobs, he respects it "as it is his prerogative".

"We will carefully study on refiling this bill, and even consider other possible proposals such as strengthening the PEZA Law," Villanueva said in a statement.

"As we prepare for the 19th Congress, we look forward to working with the new administration and push for proposed legislations and policies in harmony with the priorities of the executive branch, especially when it comes to job generation for all Filipinos," he added. 

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