MANILA – The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has urged the Senate to support the bill amending the state-owned firm’s charter that will further unlock its potential in contributing to the national coffers.
In a statement Wednesday, BCDA president and chief executive officer Joshua Bingcang welcomed the approval by the House of Representatives of House Bill 8505 last week that seeks to amend the Republic Act No. 7227, or the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992.
“The House approval provides us one less hurdle to overcome, and we hope the Senate will also support our proposed bill as this will translate to better lives for the Filipino people,” Bingcang said.
“The amendments we seek will not only extend the life of BCDA, but allow us to further unlock the potential of our ecozones. These will give BCDA the powers to accomplish more for the government and the people, particularly in real estate, infrastructure, and sustainable development,” he said.
The proposed bill seeks to extend the corporate term of BCDA for another 50 years from its current remaining corporate life of 19 years.
Bingcang said the renewal of BCDA’s corporate term will enhance investors’ confidence when transacting with the firm, and allow the government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) to support the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The bill also aims to raise BCDA’s authorized capital from PHP100 billion to PHP400 billion.
It also seeks to convert 5 percent of BCDA economic zones to freehold status from leasehold to allow converting a portion of the GOCC’s properties for residential purposes. This will liberalize the residential market for an average Filipino and allow full ownership of the property.
“Once this is implemented, workers within our economic zones will be able to have their own homes, be closer to their jobs and live comfortably with their families,” Bingcang added.
According to BCDA, the provision will free up 1,856 hectares of land that can potentially generate PHP451.26 billion to PHP1.45 trillion in revenues.
The BCDA added this revenue may be allocated for the military pension fund, which is a priority of the Marcos administration.
“Our economic landscape is evolving at a tremendous pace, thus the need for BCDA to take big, bold moves to adapt with these changes and deliver the socioeconomic transformation we envision for our development areas in Clark. This bill will aptly address these gaps in our current charter,” Bingcang said. (PNA)