Bill seeks revenue from the free zones

A legislator is pushing for amendments to Republic Act (RA) 7227 or the Base Transformation and Development Act of 1992, as amended, to improve revenue collection within Free Port Zones (FZs) and thus increase the shares of local government units (LGU) affected and the share of the national government.

The First Deputy District Attorney for Bataan, Geraldine B. Roman, she believes her proposal (House Bill 530) will strengthen the management and operational governance of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Area Authority (SBMA) by amending the provisions of RA 7227.

The reallocation formulas with respect to the share received by the province of Bataan and Pampanga from the 2 per cent tax on gross income from all commercial enterprises within the free port area have been entered into its bill.

Also, the divisions that designate additional SBMA board seats at the LGU and from indigenous peoples residing within the Subic Bay FZ are consolidated.

The legislator appealed to her colleagues to immediately pass her bill, revitalize the Rule Transformation Development, and amend it for the purpose of the Rule Transformation and Development Act 1992 (as amended).

Roman, who chairs the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality, added that it was time to include provisions to professionalize the SBMA board as well as to ensure and enhance public safety and security in the Free Port Zone.

It said the amendments were taken into consideration during the 17th Congress on the basis of reaffirming the powers granted to the SSC by RA 7227 (as amended).

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