Gov’t declares The Mactan Newtown as a Special Economic Zone
March 1, 2013
It’s all systems go for The Mactan Newtown as Cebu’s next biggest business hub. President Benigno S. Aquino III has recently signed Proclamation No. 407 declaring the area as a special economic zone (ECOZONE) under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).
Under Republic Act 7916, otherwise known as the “Special Economic Zone Act of 1995”, certain privileges are granted by the national government to the business owners and investors operating inside the ECOZONE.
The law provides special tax incentives and holidays to business establishments operating in the ECOZONE. While the real property taxes on land are paid by developers, no other local and national taxes are to be imposed on business establishments operating within the ECOZONE.
Foreigners who have investments of at least US$150,000 in the ECOZONE will be granted permanent resident status including their spouse and dependents (children under 21 years old).
The PEZA is also authorized to issue working visas renewable every two years to foreign executives and other aliens working or doing business inside the special economic zone.
The Mactan Newtown is Megaworld Corporation’s 20-hectare township development in Lapu-Lapu City that will feature luxury residential condominiums, modern BPO office towers, retail and entertainment strips and an upscale boutique hotel. This is the company’s first development in Metro Cebu that is expected to boost the economic landscape of Mactan. President Aquino’s declaration of The Mactan Newtown as a special economic zone specifically highlights the development’s use for “Tourism, I.T. and Retirement”.
“Megaworld sees the opportunities of growth of the BPO industry in Cebu. With this we expect new BPO companies coming in as we offer the most modern BPO offices on this side of the country,” says Kevin L. Tan, chief strategy officer, Megaworld.
Previously, other Megaworld townships have also been granted “special economic zone” status by the government. These include McKinley Hill in Fort Bonifacio Global City and Eastwood City in Libis, Quezon City.
In a study conducted by CB Richard Ellis, Megaworld Corporation is now the Philippines’ no. 1 residential condominium developer, cornering a 16-percent share of the property market. Another study by Colliers International placed Megaworld as the top provider of business process outsourcing (BPO) offices in the last 10 years.
Megaworld has earmarked P20 billion for the development of The Mactan Newtown in the next five to seven years.