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PEZA Chief encourages Bulacan Airport City SEZ to register with PEZA after President BBM’s veto on bill

PASAY CITY -- The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Charito ‘Ching’ Plaza has welcomed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s decision to veto the proposed Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (BACSEZFA) under House Bill (HB) No. 7575. 

“It is a wise decision of President BBM, because while there are two ways of declaring ecozones, first by legislation, the second one by way of registering the proposed ecozone with PEZA is the best and pragmatic way,” said Plaza in an TV interview on Monday. 

The PEZA Chief noted that “the Authority’s opinion for the bill has been very consistent that the proposed BACSEZFA should instead be registered with PEZA as the authorized agency nationwide for registering new special economic zones.” 

In its submitted legal opinion on the proposed bill, PEZA cited that “PEZA encourages and supports the establishment of economic zones through the PEZA administrative process that will no longer require legislation just to create an economic zone or freeport in any part of the country, but would only need a Presidential Proclamation after a PEZA Board approval and favorable recommendation of the proponent’s application.” 

“To think that the [BACSEZFA] is a private-led development of new ecozone, it is but appropriate to register it with PEZA instead of having it legislated to be a new investment promotion agency (IPA). Through this, government is spared of responsibility to provide annual budget to legislated independent economic zones and to create multiple IPAs with overlapping goals and mandates,” Plaza said. 

“Moreover, by having a nationwide IPA, there is more cohesive investment strategy for the country and not creating numerous IPAs competing with each other to attract FDIs,” she added. 

In saying that there had been numerous IPAs and proposed new ones in Congress, the PEZA Chief explained that “Legislated ecozones becomes government’s burden as national government has to provide the seed capital and the yearly budget for its maintenance and operations as government subsidy provided each year. Thus, additional budget for new legislated SEZ is competing in the utilization of peoples’ money for more crucial people’s needs.” (PEZA)

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Kate Shiene Austria

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Information Officer III under the Creative Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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