Traders see Clark law review as smuggling solution

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—The Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PamCham) said it would ask legislators to review the laws that created the Clark Freeport and the Clark Special Economic Zone and request that measures be put in place to remove any room for smuggling.

Marco Antonio Jimenez, PamCham president, said the group also called on local governments, like Angeles City, to help arrest retailers who sell gas and diesel in soft drink bottles by the roadside.

“If the allegation of oil smuggling in Clark is true, PamCham does not approve this. It deprives the government of taxes. This is unfair to legitimate businesses,” Jimenez told the Inquirer on Tuesday.

The Clark Investors and Locators Association (CILA), which counts some 500 member-companies at Clark Freeport, is waiting for the official findings of the investigation being conducted by the state-owned Clark Development Corp. and the Bureau of Customs.

“As far as I know, there is minimal, if any, petroleum smuggling in Clark,” said Rene Banzon, CILA president.

“I would think any considerable amount of smuggling could be more likely done at seaports where large volumes are involved,” Banzon said, without giving details. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon

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