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Iloilo freeport eyed

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A measure creating the Metro Iloilo Special Economic Zone and Freeport has passed the scrutiny of the House committees on economic affairs and trade and industry.

Iloilo City Rep. Julienne Baronda’s House Bill No. (HBN) 5794 encompasses the Iloilo International Port in Barangay Loboc, La Paz district and available public and reclaimed lands in barangays Bitoon and Balabago in Jaro district and in barangays Hinactacan, San Isidro, Ingore and Loboc in La Paz district.

The zone is seen to attract more investors to Iloilo, said Baronda.

According to her, the proposed special economic zone and free port will “bring positive change for the City of Iloilo and the entire Western Visayas though jobs generation and investments.” (https://bit.ly/3btkgUF)

By creating more jobs, improving social services, encouraging innovation and connecting the countryside to growth centers, poverty will be reduced and development in rural areas will be accelerated, she explained.

“We have been dependent on the agriculture and services sectors all this time. Now, we want to expand and we want to diversify. We will welcome investors. We will offer them one of the best investment climates the Philippines can offer. The centerpiece of all that is the ecozone,” Baronda said.

Under HBN 5794, a tax rate of five percent on gross income earned will be collected from the locators with no other local or national taxes to be imposed.

The enterprises to be registered with the economic zone authority may enjoy income tax holiday or the net operating loss carryover prior to the availment of the gross income earned.

All fiscal incentives under the proposed law will be terminated after a cumulative period of 20 years from the date of registration, or the start of operation.