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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Ilocos Norte Special Economic Zone and Freeport soon established
16 April 2019 09:16:22 AM

The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading House Bill 9095, seeking to establish a special economic zone and freeport in the province of Ilocos Norte.

HB 9095 or the proposed "Ilocos Norte Special Economic Zone and Freeport Act" is principally authored by Rep. Imelda Marcos (2nd District, Ilocos Norte). It is co-authored by Reps. Milagros Aquino-Magsaysay, Carlos Roman Uybarreta, Gwen Garcia, Ferjenel Biron, Rolando Andaya Jr., and Estrelita Suansing.

It seeks to encourage, promote, induce, and accelerate sound and balanced industrial, economic, and social development.

It also aims to 1) provide jobs, especially in the rural areasm 2)increase productivity and individual family income, and 3) attract legitimate and productive foreign investments.

The bill seeks to establish the Ilocos Norte Special Economic Zone and Freeport, or the Ilocos Norte Ecozone.

The Ilocos Norte Ecozone shall cover particular areas located in the City of Laoag and the municipalities Paoay and Currimao. The specific metes and bounds shall be more particularly defined in a presidential proclamation to be issued for this purpose, provided that the lands embraced shall be public lands and contiguous to one another.

The Ilocos Norte Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (INSEZA) shall be established as a corporate body to manage and operate the Ilocos Norte Ecozone. This corporate franchise shall be organized within 180 days of after the effectivity of the measure and shall expire in 50 years counted from the first year after the effectivity.

The appointment of the Chairperson and members of the Board of INSEZA, except the ex-officio members, shall be done by the President of the Philippines. They shall serve for a term of six years.

The bill entitles registered enterprises operating within the Ilocos Norte Ecozone to fiscal incentives as provided for under RA 7916 or the "Special Economic Zone Act of 1995", or those provided under Executive Order 226 or the "Omnibus Investment Code of 1987", and/ or those that may be further granted as the need and necessity arises by the appropriate government department, agency, or office.

A final tax rate of five percent on gross income earned shall be imposed on business establishments operating within the Ilocos Norte Ecozone in lieu of local and national taxes such as income tax, withholding tax, donor's tax, percentage tax, and documentary stamp tax. Specifically, three percent of gross income earned shall go to the national government and two percent of gross income earned shall be remitted directly by the business establishments to the treasurer's office of the municipality or city where the enterprise is located.

The INSEZA shall be empowered to administer, manage, enforce, and implement the incentives granted to registered enterprises in coordination with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and subject to compliance with the provisions of Republic Act 10708 or the "Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act" and its implementing rules and regulations. / Czarina B. Engracia, News and Documentation Section-Press and Public Affairs Bureau / House of Representatives of the Philippines