ANGELES CITY – The city government has welcomed the decision of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to veto House Bill 7575, creating the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport.
The President noted that the proposed economic zone is located “in close proximity” to the Clark Special Economic Zone, which is “against the government’s policy on creating special economic zones in strategic locations.”
He also noted that the bill’s provisions “pose substantial fiscal risks to the country”, and cited the measure’s “infringement on or conflict with other agencies’ mandates and authorities.”
This was gleaned in a 2-page veto message he sent to the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives last Friday.
Marcos also said the creation of the zone is not a cost-effective project for the government. In fact, the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) and the Regional Development Council III have called for more studies on the feasibility of the said economic zone, he said.
The bill “lacks coherence with existing laws, rules, and regulations”, the President said.
The measure also grants the proposed economic zone authority “blanket powers to handle technical airport operations in contravention of existing aeronautical laws”.
City Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin said the city supports President Marcos’ objective of fiscal prudence amid the continued threat of COVID-19 and the seemingly unstoppable increase in petrol prices.
Lazatin also said that when the 147-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway that will connect Clark all the way to Calamba, Laguna, is finally finished, travel time will be significantly reduced, making the Freeport even more attractive to travelers and stakeholders in the aviation industry.