Oceana welcomes Marcos' veto of Bulacan economic zone bill

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 04 2022 02:48 PM

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MANILA — An environmental group on Monday welcomed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s veto of a bill proposing the creation of a special economic zone in Bulacan.

Lawyer Gloria Estenzo Ramos, vice president of Oceana Philippines, said the group had been opposed to the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport, citing environmental concerns.

"Kailan ba tayo titigil sa pagsisira sa ating likas [na] yaman amidst the impacts of climate change, biodiversity crisis and the economic crisis that we are facing? Because without nature, we can't possibly survive," she told ANC.

Ramos said the planned ecozone "destroys the remaining mangrove forest in Manila Bay."

"There was even no approval and consultation with stakeholders and departments concerned kaya maraming problema itong Bulacan airport na ito," she added.

The newly sworn-in President has vetoed the measure due to "fiscal risks" and "lack of coherence" in the country's laws.

The ecozone was supposedly going to be built inside the Bulacan airport complex, the franchise to operate of which was given to San Miguel Corp.

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

The company added that the project could generate "over a million" direct and indirect jobs.