Friday, June 24, 2005

Bill proposes broad powers for Subic, Clark agencies

A SENATE bill has been filed to empower the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Clark Development Corp. (CDC) to develop special economic zones in Luzon.

Its author, Senator Richard Gordon, said the bill was aimed at promoting investments and business opportunities in areas surrounding Subic and Clark.

Under Senate Bill No. 1840, the SBMA and the CDC shall have authority to develop, manage and operate special economic zones in Luzon, and to borrow funds from local and international institutions, or to raise money through bond issues or issuance of other securities.

"The development of special economic zones in the municipalities nearby, bordering the highway and railway and connected to the airports and seaports in Subic, Clark and Manila must be encouraged as this will bring jobs to the people," said Gordon, a former chairman of the SBMA.

The bill also seeks to empower the SBMA and CDC to grant incentives to businesses that will locate in the economic zones, set minimum wage rates, impose strike moratoriums in businesses to be located in the economic zones, enter into joints ventures or other investment activities to raise funds, and establish subsidiaries.

Both the SBMA and CDC are under the Bases Conversion Development Authority, which oversees development of former military camps

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