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SBMA to grant incentives to investors

Saturday, May 23, 2009 [ manilatimes.net ]


Administrator Arreza says fiscal perks could be granted to projects endorsed by the Olongapo City government

By Ben Arnold O. de Vera, Reporter

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is currently working on the implementing rules for a scheme where investments in Olongapo City can also avail of some incentives granted to registered firms at the Subic Bay Freeport.

“We are working it out with Olongapo City officials so that businesses located in Olongapo would qualify for some incentives under Executive Order [EO] 675,” said Armand Arreza, SBMA administrator.

Under EO 675, the duty and tax-free privileges within the Subic Special Economic and Freeport Zone “shall apply within the secured area consisting of the presently fenced-in former Subic Naval Base and such other areas that may be identified, fenced, secured or declared as additional secured area by the SBMA.”

Arreza said fiscal incentives, such as sales tax and 5-percent gross income tax, could be granted to projects that will be endorsed by the Olongapo City government. “Our main concern is merchandise control. That is why we’re initially thinking of giving incentives on sales tax and the 5-percent gross income tax,” he said.

But Arreza said that as the planned expansion area in Olongapo is not fenced-in yet, duty-free privileges couldn’t be awarded.

Arreza said the SBMA’s expansion plan involves developing nearby areas in Dinalupihan, Hermosa and Morong in Bataan; Subic town in Zambales; and Olongapo City.

Arreza said investors who plan to locate outside Subic’s fenced-in area, but still within the Subic Special Economic and Free Port Zone, will enjoy privileges under EO 675.

Arreza said Subic Neocove Corp., which will develop a golf resort complex in Subic, Zambales, will be the first major investor to locate outside the base land. He said this investment was granted a full incentive package upon endorsements of Subic town and the Zambales provincial government.

Arreza said the SBMA is finalizing its master plan that would increase links and widen bridges between the Subic Bay Freeport and neighboring areas, especially Olongapo City.

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