THE proposed legislative franchise for San Miguel Aerocity, Inc. for the Bulacan airport should be put on hold prior to an environmental impact study, a non-government organization (NGO) said.

In a virtual briefing Thursday, OCEANA Vice-President Gloria Estenzo-Ramos said the Senate should hold off on granting a franchise to San Miguel Aerocity since an environmental impact assessment has yet to be conducted.

“Granting franchise to San Miguel Aerocity without an environmental impact assessment is putting the cart before the horse,” Ms. Estenzo-Ramos said.

Ms. Estenzo-Ramos said the location of the project poses risks to public safety and food security, among others.

The proposed airport, which will be established in Barangays Taliptip and Bambang in Bulakan municipality, are geohazard zones and prone to natural disasters such as flooding and storm surges.

“Land subsidence, which is already happening in large parts of Bulacan, will worsen with the rise of an airport,” Ms. Estenzo-Ramos said.

On Sept. 23, Senate Bill 1823 which proposes to grant a franchise for the P735-billion airport, was approved by the Committee on Public Services.

If the bill passes, San Miguel Aerocity will be granted a 50-year franchise, including a 10-year tax exemption during the design, planning, and construction stages.

The House of Representatives passed the counterpart legislation, House Bill 7507, on third and final reading on Sept. 7. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave