Home Headlines PGKM: Abuse of BCDA law happening now

PGKM: Abuse of BCDA law happening now

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ANGELES CITY – The Pinoy Gumising Ka Movement (PGKM), a multi sectoral advocacy group, is reiterating its call for a review of the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992 or RA 7227.

PGKM chair Ruperto Cruz scored what he called the “rampant abuse” of the law allegedly by “certain businessmen” inside the Clark Freeport Zone.

According to Cruz, a store which sells imported grocery items at lower prices in Clark because under the law, it is exempted from paying taxes, has abused its privileged and has expanded even outside the former base lands into virtually every city and municipality in the country.

“They took advantage of their duty-free privilege as Clark locator and from there funneled imported, tax-free goods to their stores outside the freeport,” he said. “Is this not technical smuggling?”

“What is even worse,” Cruz claimed, “with their lower priced goods owing to that tax privilege, they compete to the disadvantage of even the smallest sari-sari store.”

“Is this not a clear indication that the law has become detrimental to the people?” he asked.

Cruz also pointed to the Capilion Project located by the main gate of the Clark as an “obvious disadvantage” to the businesses along the southern perimeter road.

“With its freeport locator status, hence tax-free privileges, Capilion can offer lower rentals to its tenants, lower prices in its merchandises, etc. thereby taking the advantage of an unlevel playing field with local competitors, including even SM mall and others hoisting the same commercial establishments like BPOs,” Cruz noted.

He also took to task a Clark-based internet company which has now gone national: “I wonder if that company is paying proper taxes with its importations?”

RA 7227 is “an act accelerating the conversion of military reservations into other productive uses, creating the bases conversion and development authority for this purpose, providing funds therefor and for other purposes”

Sec. 4 (b) of RA 7227 states that: “ To adopt, prepare and implement a comprehensive and detailed development plan embodying a list of projects including but not limited to those provided in the Legislative-Executive Based Council (LEBC) framework plan for the sound and balanced conversion of the Clark and Subic military reservations and their extensions consistent with ecological and environmental standards, in other productive uses to promote the economic and social development of Central Luzon in particular and the country in general;”

But Cruz said RA 7227 seems to have lost its spirit. He said it is time to review the law to determine if it is still beneficial to the people or if it has become detrimental to progress.

Cruz said under the BCDA law, there should be “parallel development” with the contiguous communities surrounding the former base lands.

 

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