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Senate bill seeks to establish Bulacan Airport Eco-Zone

Senator Grace Poe on Tuesday sponsored a bill that would establish the Bulacan Airport Special Economic Zone and Free Port Authority, that would usher in a new age of economic opportunities and investments in Bulacan.

During her sponsorship speech for Senate Bill 2572 Under Committee Report No. 209, the senator said she sponsored the New Manila International Airport franchise in the previous Congress.

"The Chamber passed the measure even at the height of the pandemic when transportation was closed. But what we are sponsoring today is the next big step—creating a special economic zone with the airport project at its heart," Poe said.

Poe had confidence in the bill as many successful ecozones were anchored on nearby airports, like Ireland's Shannon Airport and its neighboring Shannon Free Zone, and the Incheon Free Economic Zone, which houses the Incheon International Airport.

"In terms of investments, its goal is to attract a whole array of businesses and institutions ranging from hi-tech conglomerates such as Samsung to semi-conductor manufacturers, battery manufacturers, electric vehicle makers, and other emerging and sustainable technologies," Poe noted.

“Based on submitted calculation, tinatayang aabot ng P130.939 billion ang economic potential ng Bulacan Ecozone. At sa tuloy-tuloy nitong pag-unlad, inaasahan natin na makakapagbigay ito mula 800 thousand hanggang 1.2 million na trabaho,” she added.

Meanwhile, Senator Joel Villanueva said his beloved province, Bulacan, was known as the "Northern Gateway from Manila," owing to its strategic location close to the capital, making it an ideal investment destination.

Villanueva also sponsored the bill, adding that the Bulacan Ecozone's economic potential could be between P37.84 billion and P130.9 billion. It could also create at least 800,000 jobs for Filipinos.

"With this measure, we will usher in more development in the province and Central Luzon and provide jobs to thousands, if not millions, of Filipinos, particularly Bulaceños. We hope that with its eventual enactment, this vision will soon become a reality, and Bulacan's position as an economic powerhouse will be even more cemented," Villanueva said.

While the biggest challenge the measure faced was overcoming a veto, Senator Poe said they made sure to include the proper language in the bill that addressed the President's concerns and other issues raised by stakeholders.

She was also confident that the veto amendments in the past submissions had been addressed, and it was now the right moment to move forward with the measure. — DVM, GMA Integrated News