Bulacan airport ecozone bill hurdles House panels

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 1) — Two House panels have given their nod to the proposed creation of the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone, which one of its proponents said will help address the flooding in the province.

The committees on economic affairs and trade and industry approved on Tuesday the substitute measure to House Bill (HB) 2228, authored by Albay Rep. Joey Salceda.

In addition to creating an ecozone, HB 2228 will establish the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (BACSEZFA).

Under the bill, the ecozone will be composed of the Bulacan airport being constructed by San Miguel Corporation, the airport city, and the municipality of Bulakan. It could also be expanded to other towns in the province.

Salceda said the substitute bill corrects the infirmities in the previous measure vetoed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

He added that the proposed BACSEZFA will help solve flooding in the province as it will be required to establish a framework for land use, planning, and development of the proposed ecozone. It would also be required to formulate plans for water supply and storage, as well as sewerage and drainage.

Pampanga Rep. Anna York Bondoc, meanwhile, said plans for the proposed ecozone should take into consideration surrounding provinces.

She said the Department of Public Works and Highways should devise a flood control plan and should be held responsible if the planned ecozone contributes to flooding in nearby areas.