Philippines’s Arroyo signs EO providing incentives to new Clark Zone locators

May. 03, 2007

MANILA — In a move to further promote the Clark Freeport Zone (CFZ) as an economic haven in the Asia Pacific region, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has issued an executive order granting tax and duty incentives to “duly registered business enterprises that will operate in special economic zones to be created by proclamation inside the CFZ.”

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the President signed on April 26 the Executive Order No. 619 “Creating and Designating Special Economic Zones Pursuant to Republic Act No. 7916, as Amended by R.A. 8784, in Relation to R.A. 7227, as Amended by R.A. 9400, Inside the Clark Freeport Zone.”

With the issuance of the EO, duly registered business enterprises that would operate at the special economic zones “to be specifically designated by the President by way of proclamation” inside the newly-created CFZ would be entitled to the same tax and duty incentives as provided for under Republic Act 7916, or the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995, as amended.

E.O. 619 provides that the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) “shall register, regulate and supervise all registered enterprises within the said special economic zones” so these business enterprises could avail themselves of tax incentives.

In signing E.O. 619, the President noted that the amendments in R.A. 9400 “provide for the applicability of R.A. 7916, as amended, and the role of the PEZA with respect to Special Economic Zones (SEZ) that may be created in Bataan, Zambales as well as in John Hay SEZ, but did not so provide for the applicability of R.A. 7916, as amended, in the Subic SEZ, Poro Point Freeport Zone, and the new Clark Freeport Zone.”

“There is a need to make R.A. 7916, as amended, also applicable to the Clark Freeport Zone in areas to be specifically designated by the President by way of Proclamation,” E.O. 619 states.

The renaming of the former Clark Special Economic Zone to Clark Freeport Zone was one of the major amendments to R.A. 7227, as Amended, Otherwise Known as the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992 and for Other Purposes,” now embodied in R.A. 9400.

The Clark Freeport Zone would cover 4,400 hectares of the former Clark Air Base. The rest of the reverted base lands located in Angeles City, Mabalacat and Porac towns in Pampanga and Capas and Bamban in Tarlac would now be under the jurisdiction of the PEZA. (OPS)

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