Imee Marcos seeks removal of gambling establishment provision in Bulacan airport city bill

Published May 23, 2022, 4:34 PM

by Mario Casayuran

The Senate, during its hybrid plenary session today (May 23), approved on second reading a bill seeking to establish the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport.

Senator Imee R. Marcos, chairwoman of the Senate economic affairs committee, however, was able to convince her colleagues to delete an entire subsection in the proposed measure (Senate Bill 7575) regarding the setting up of gambling establishments in the area and unregulated power production.

“We are deleting it outright because of certain objections regarding the possibility of setting up gambling outfits as well as the objection to unregulated power production,” Marcos explained before the Senate approved the Senate bill on second reading.

The measure states that the establishment of special economic zones shall attract legitimate and productive foreign investments in strategic locations in the country.

It shall generate employment and increase productivity and individual, as well as family incomes, thereby enhancing the quality of life of the Filipino people.

The measure says that ‘subject to the concurrence of the affected local government units (LGUs) of Bulacan, there is hereby established a Special Economic Zone and Freeport, hereinafter referred to as the Bulacan Ecozone.’’

‘’The Bulacan Ecozone shall cover the domestic and international airport, the Airport City to be developed adjacent to the airport, and lands adjacent to the Airport City as may be determined hereinafter. The specific metes and bounds of the Bulacan Ecozone shall be more particularly defined in a presidential proclamation that shall be issued for this purpose: provided, that the lands embraced therein shall be contiguous to one another,’’ it stated.

The bill seeks the creation of the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority, referred to as the BACSEZFA, which shall manage and operate the Bulacan Ecozone.

The corporate life of the Authority shall expire in fifty (50) years counted from the first year after the effectivity of this Act, unless otherwise extended by Congress. It shall be organized within one hundred eighty (180) days after the effectivity of this Act.