GORDON — BULACAN FREEPORT ZONE BILL ESPOUSES RICH
Senator Richard J. Gordon today lauded the Upper Chamber's passage on third reading House Bill (HB) 7575, which seeks to establish the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport in Bulakan town. Gordon, co-author and co-sponsor of the measure, said that the approval of the bill espouses several aspects of the Regional Infrastructure and Investment Coordinating (RICH) bill, which he had been heavily pushing for years. “I am very pleased this House Bill No. 7575 is able to continue the provisions, spirit, and the vision of the RICH Bill and other bills that espouse a progressive economic vision for our beloved country, the Philippines,” remarked Gordon during his manifestation on Thursday. “The Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport will be a boon not only to Bulacan residents but also to the Central Luzon Region and the Philippines-at-large,” he added. The proposed law seeks to establish the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (BACSEZFA), which shall operate a domestic and international airport. It also aims for the area to be developed into a decentralized, self-reliant, and self-sustaining industrial, commercial, agro-industrial, tourist, banking, and financial center. Foreign citizens and companies owned by non-Filipinos may also set up enterprises in the Ecozone, which shall be under the guidance of the Dept. of Foreign Affairs, Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), and Dept. of Trade and Industry. Gordon, who pushed for the passage of Republic Act No. 7227 or the Bases Conversion and Development Act in 1992, was ecstatic of the economic opportunities the bill could bring to the country. “[The bill] would unleash the existing economic energies of the area, undoubtedly attract more sustainable investments both domestic and foreign sources, decongest Metro Manila, and bring much needed economic relief and hope to the Philippines,” said Gordon. “As I said during PEZA’s 27th anniversary, ‘[a]t this point in our country’s history, with the prevailing oil price increases, with the pandemic still staring deep into our eyes and our hearts, with more reason that more incentives are needed’”, Gordon reasoned. One of Gordon's most notable achievements was his successful stint as the founding chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) from 1992 to 1998. Under Gordon’s leadership, SBMA raked in more than USD 3 billion in investments, which opened up the Philippines to the global economy and provided about 250,000 jobs to Filipinos. Moreover, the SBMA became a hub of numerous multinational companies such as FedEx, ACER, and Coastal Petroleum.