House approves bill creating Special Defense Economic Zone in Bataan

The House of Representatives, voting 197-6 on February 3, has approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 8212 which seeks to establish a special defense economic zone (SpeDEZ) inside the Government Arsenal Defense Industrial Estate in Camp General Antonio Luna, Limay, Bataan.

According to the House of Representatives, among the objectives of the proposed law is to establish a government-sanctioned arms industry that produces conventional weapons and equipment for domestic use and export.

It also aims to boost the country’s competence in the field of arms research and development.

Under the approved HB8212, SpeDEZ shall be developed into and operated as a hub for decentralized, self-reliant and self-sustaining industrial, commercial, trading, research, development, engineering, information and communications technology and financial investment exclusive for defense military and law enforcement commercial activities and investments, with provision for suitable residential, educational, recreational, and commercial areas.

The proposed law also seeks to create SpeDEZ Authority (SpeDEZA) which will manage and operate SpeDEZ. It will have an authorized capital stock of 3 billion pesos to be subscribed wholly by the national government.

Foreign citizens and companies owned by non-Filipinos may set up enterprises within SpeDEZ with foreign ownership of up to the percentage allowed by law, subject to approval of SpeDEZA, either by themselves or in joint venture with Filipinos or the GA in the defense and security industry within the territorial jurisdiction of the SpeDEZ.