Ammunition facility to become economic zone

BAGAC, BATAAN -- A unit of the Department of National Defense which manufactures ammunition for the police and military will soon become a special economic zone once President Benigno S. C. Aquino III signs the requisite rules, Bataan Governor Albert S. Garcia said here last week.

A worker pours empty shells for loading at an arsenal plant in Limay, Bataan in this file photo. The facility will soon become a special defense economic zone as soon as President Benigno S. C. Aquino III signs rules, a local official said. -- AFP

The Government Arsenal is mandated to design, develop, manufacture, procure and stockpile military weapons for the Philippine government.

“We’re just waiting for the presidential proclamation for the incentives,” Mr. Garcia told reporters on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Senior Finance Officials’ Meeting.

Under Republic Act No. 10349 which establishes the revised modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, proceeds from joint ventures in the government arsenal may fund the AFP’s modernization trust fund.

Mr. Garcia said the revised modernization program allows for the creation of a “special defense economic zone” and, if realized, could become the first in Southeast Asia. He said the proclamation could be signed by August this year.

Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) Chairman Deogracias G. P. Custodio, for his part said in a separate interview: “It’s a government corporation now. They just want to be Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)-registered so they can give incentives to locators who will set up shop there.”

“In fact I was telling the heads of the arsenal that we have a military boot manufacturer inside the FAB, so with a potential expansion, maybe they will put up shop there instead,” he added.

The Government Arsenal is located on a 370-hectare industrial estate in Limay, Bataan, its Web site said.

The arsenal was created by Republic Act No. 1884 which was signed in 1957.

Written by

Mikhail Franz E. Flores

Business World Oline