Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, June 09, 2005

CDC-Angeles City dispute over permits heats up anew

By Joey Aguilar, MT Central Luzon Bureau

ANGELES CITY: The dispute between the Angeles City Hall and the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) heated up anew after Mayor Carmelo F. Lazatin reiterated the city hall’s position that all establishments outside the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) are all under the city’s police and regulatory powers.

“We advance that any commercial or construction within the territorial jurisdiction of Angeles City and outside the CSEZ, which is identified as the enclosed area of the former Clark Airbase, should be under the police and the regulatory powers of Angles City,” Lazatin wrote in a letter to CDC President Antonio Ng.

He wrote the letter after the Angeles City anti-vice squad found that several establishments at the Bayanihan Park, on Fields Avenue, are operating without business permits.

Lazatin said the areas are within the jurisdiction of this city and establishments located at the city’s “red light district” should secure business permits including sanitary and safety permits.

He claimed that under Presidential Proclamation 163, there was no mention that “Bayanihan Park” is not within the eastern part CSEZ. This area is where the initial phase of the construction of the SM Mall will take place.

Lazatin said the Angeles City police are the main agency protecting the area, debunking CDC’s claim that the area is within the reservation contained in the US-RP Military Bases Agreement and there was no actual land survey of the reservation area.

He said the city government has no intention to interfere with locators and tenants inside the fenced area of CSEZ, but those outside of the CSEZ should not be included and declared part of the special economic zone.

The City Administrator Alberto M. Suller in a statement said Lazatin wrote Ng but the latter rejected the mayor’s request.

Imposing regulatory fees on business establishments inside CSEZ is based on the law related to the operations of special economic zones and the Local Government Code of 1991, according to Suller.

“It follows therefore that outside the zone or free trade area, no preferential tax treatment is granted to any enterprise doing business within Clark,” Lazatin said.

Lazatin had also sought legal opinion from the Department of Justice and from the Department of the Interior and Local Government beforehand.


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