By Camille A. Aguinaldo, February 11 2019; Business World

Image Credit to Philippine Star

SENATOR Richard J. Gordon, who chairs the chamber’s committee on government corporations and public enterprises, sponsored to the plenary a bill seeking to increase the powers of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).

Senate Bill No. 2207 amends the charter of BCDA under Republic Act 7277, as amended by R.A. No. 9400 and revises the allocation of income on taxes earned within the Subic Special Economic Zone and Clark Special Economic Zone.

Currently, businesses within the country’s economic zones enjoy a 5% gross income earned tax in lieu of all other national and local taxes.

Under the bill, the collections from the 5% tax on gross income earned by business enterprises within the Subic Special Economic Zone will shared out as follows: 2% to the national government, 1% to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and 2% to the SBM for distribution to the local government units (LGUs).

At present, the national government gets 3% from the gross income tax collection from the Subic Special Economic Zones, and the SBMA receives 2% for distribution to the LGUs.

Meanwhile, 1% of the 5% gross income tax earned in the Clark and other Special Economic Zones (CSEZ) will be remitted to the national government, 1% to the provincial government, 1% to municipalities or cities, and 2% to the governing body of the [CSEZ].

Under the law, the allocation of gross income tax earned in the CSEZ are as follows: 3% to the national government and 2% to the municipality or city where the business is located.

“With this bill, we revitalize and spread the blessings of the Subic experience to neighboring communities who are willing to share the same culture of hard work, the same vision of prosperity and development, and the same willingness to work hard to make it happen,” Mr. Gordon said in a statement on Monday.

“We also hope to further strengthen Subic’s equally successful neighbor, Clark Special Economic Zone by expanding its scope and fine-tuning policies that will further its growth,”he added.

The bill also seeks to expand the territory of the Subic and Clark economic zones.

The bill also requires the SBMA Board of Directors to provide a Master Plan for the phased expansion of the freeport zone every two years in Olongapo City, Zambales and Dinalupihan, Hermosa and Morong, Bataan.

Under the bill the SBMA will also be given additional power to inspect and register leisure ships and pleasure yachts as well as to create an ecology center to issue environmental compliance certificates for non-environmentally critical projects.

Other proposed powers also allow SBMA to reclaim land within the special economic zones and to undertake and regulate the operations of land transportation, toll roads, shipping, port terminal services, and other related businesses. — Camille A. Aguinaldo