Congress approves bill creating Bacolod Ecozone on 3rd reading


The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 10243, establishing the Bacolod Special Economic Zone Authority (BSEZA).

The bill which was originally introduced by Bacolod City lone district Congressman Greg Gasataya under House Bill No. 5440 aims to establish a special economic zones within the city to generate employment and allow skilled workers not to seek employment in other urbanized cities in the country.

Gasataya said the bill was filed in 2019 as existing economic zones in Clark and Cavite have shown promise in local economic, social, and cultural growth. Through this bill, he said the city will be able to further propel its growth.

Once it’s passed into law, BSEZA will have an initial capitalization of two billion (2,000,000,000) no par shares with a minimum of Ten pesos (Php10.00) per share, with the majority shares to be subscribed and paid for by the national government and the local government units embracing the Ecozone.

Investors both foreign and local may also invest in industries in the city, according to Gasataya. It can include manufacturing which in turn would entail more competitive wage rates, he added.

Any foreign national who invests an amount of US$200,000.00 in a registered enterprise, either in cash or equipment, shall be entitled to an investor’s visa. With an investor’s visa, an alien shall be entitled to reside in the Philippines while the investment subsists.

The Board of Directors of the BSEZA may, with the written concurrence of the Secretary of Finance, sell shares representing not more than forty per centum (40%) of the capital stock of the BSEZA to the general public under such policy as the Board and the Secretary of Finance may determine. The national government and the LGU shall in no case own less than sixty per centum (60%) of the total issued and outstanding capital of the BSEZA.

Registered enterprises of the Bacolod Ecozone may be entitled to pertinent fiscal incentives granted under Title XIII (Tax Incentives) of the National Internal Revenue Code, as amended.

The corporate life of the BSEZA shall expire in fifty (50) years counted from the first year after it signed into law, unless otherwise extended by Congress. It shall be organized within one hundred eighty (180) days after it becomes a law, the proposed bill added.