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Bills creating SEZs okayed

A joint panel at the House of Representatives approved several bills yesterday proposing to establish special economic zones (SEZs) in various locations, including Bacolod City in Negros Occidental.

In a joint hearing, the House committees on Economic Affairs and on Trade and Industry swiftly moved for the omnibus approval of the committee reports on unnumbered substitute bills to HBs 263, 264, 655, 3239, 5440, 5538, and 5794.

The proposed SEZs would be particularly established in the municipalities of San Jose, Magsaysay, and Paluan in Occidental Mindoro, Sangley Point in Cavite City, fourth district of Cebu, Bacolod City in Negros Occidental, Ubay, Buenavista, Talibon, and Getafe in Bohol, and in Iloilo City.

In his opening statement, House Committee on Economic Affairs chairperson and Aklan Rep. Teodorico Haresco Jr. said the proposed SEZs are envisioned and conceptualized to help evenly spread the opportunities for socio-economic development in the country.

House Committee on Trade and Industry vice-chairperson and Nueva Ecija Rep. Rosanna Vergara said the SEZs would provide numerous benefits as they are expected to stimulate the flow of both domestic and foreign investments and promote exports of goods and services.

Vergara said the economic zones would also generate revenues and foreign exchange, create employment opportunities as well as fast-track the development of infrastructure facilities.

The proposed SEZ bills were also taken up by the House Committee on Ways and Means on Monday to reflect on the provisions of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act.*PNA

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