Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Clark free port sub-zone given tax perks

CLARK FREE PORT — Clark Development Corp. (CDC), operator of the Clark free port, yesterday said tax incentives and privileges have been granted to its entire 27,000-hectare sub-zone dubbed "Clark’s Next Frontier."

The CDC said an agreement had been reached with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), under which it becomes the administrative governing authority of the Clark Special Economic Zone with the following tasks:

identify and develop areas, and enter into lease agreements with locators;

provide PEZA with an approved comprehensive land use and zoning plan;

provide utilities such as power, water, telecommunications, and wastewater treatment;

screen and endorse to PEZA applications of locators seeking incentives; endorse to PEZA all applications for building permits, fire and safety permits, sanitary permits and environment permits; and

resolve issues and claims on property ownership.

PEZA will be the incentives administration authority with the following responsibilities:

register CDC as developer-operator with incentives;

register qualified locators upon submission of and PEZA’s evaluation and approval of complete requirements;

issue permits to operate or certificates of registration, as the case may be, to qualified enterprises;

issue building, fire, safety, and sanitary permits to enterprises and collect fees;

review and endorse to the Environment department locators’ applications for clearances;

administer incentives granted to investors; and

assist the CDC in promoting the economic zone to foreign and domestic investors.

CDC chief Benigno N. Ricafort and PEZA Director- General Lilia B. de Lima signed the deal as provided by rules implementing Republic Act (RA) No. 9400, which amended RA 7227 otherwise known as the "Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992.

Mr. Ricafort said RA 7227 paved the way for the creation of the almost 32,000-hectare Clark Special Economic Zone originally composed of 4,400-hectare main zone and the 27,000-hectare sub-zone.

In 2006, Proclamation No. 1035 was issued "creating and designating certain parcels of land of the public domain situated at Angeles City, Municipalities of Mabalacat and Porac, Pampanga and the Municipalities of Capas, and Bamban, Tarlac as a Special Economic Zone."

The passage of RA 9400 in March 2007, however, designated the sub-zone and some parts of Clark as the Clark Special Economic Zone while the main zone was declared a free port. The sub-zone is being developed for eco-tourism, agri-based industries and mixed used projects.

In nearby Subic free port, a similar tax incentive scheme is in the works, with qualified investments in the neighboring city of Olongapo likely to receive some of the benefits enjoyed by free port-registered companies. — R. Garcia - BusinessWorld online

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