The Senate has approved on third and final reading the bill granting San Miguel Aerocity, Inc. a 50-year franchise to operate an airport in Bulacan with 22-0 votes and no objections.
The bill just now awaits the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte in case the House of Representatives adopts the Senate version.
Under the said bill, SMC would be exempted from taxes during the 10-year construction, development, establishment, and operation of the airport.
Beyond the said period, the company will remain exempted from paying income and real property taxes until it has fully recovered its investment cost.
Advocacy group Action for Economic Reforms (AER) had earlier insisted that the tax exemption granted to SMC contradicts the pronouncement of the executive branch of the government that public funds shouldn’t be utilized in such projects.
The said airport will be built on a 2,500-hectare area in Bulacan town and is set to serve as another main entry to the Philippines besides the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.