San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has said that it remains committed to the Bulacan airport project in the Philippines, despite a presidential veto on a measure that sought to create a special economic zone in the region.
Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr previously vetoed the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport bill, citing ‘substantial fiscal risks’.
Notably, SMC is fully financing and building the PHP740bn ($13.36bn) New Manila International Airport (NMIA) project in Bulacan. The company received a notice of award (NOA) for the project in 2019.
In a statement, SMC president and CEO Ramon S Ang said that all the issues raised in the President’s veto could be addressed.
He added: “We respect and abide by the government’s decision. We thank him for recognising where the proposed Freeport bill can be further improved, and we look forward to working with his administration towards perfecting this.
“We are eager to continue working with government and play an active role in helping our country reach its goals – as we have faithfully and consistently done.”
According to SMC, the Bulacan Airport Economic Zone could generate around $200bn in export revenues annually from potential foreign investors across various sectors.
Ang further stated that the long-term benefits of the ecozone would outweigh any supposed ‘losses’ incurred due to incentive grants to potential investors.
He claimed that as well as tax revenues, the benefits will include new jobs, transfer of technologies from foreign investors, and access to new education and healthcare opportunities
NMIA will be developed in multiple phases on a 2,500-hectare property in Bulakan. Once complete, the airport will be able to handle 100 million passengers annually.