PEZA holds dialogue with MEZ locator companies
20 May 2021 (Thursday)
Lapu-Lapu City – The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has hosted a dialogue for the locator companies of the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ) at Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark on Monday, 17 May 2021, to discuss their concerns on various pressing issues including the recent passage of Republic Act No. 11534 or the CREATE Law.
The event follows after PEZA Director General Charito ‘Ching’ Plaza and Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan officially inaugurated the new MEZ Admin Building, which will be the temporary home of PEZA MEZ while its building undergoes transformation.
PEZA Director General Charito ‘Ching’ Plaza along with Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard ‘Ahong’ Chan and Mactan Economic Zone Administrator Atty. Abdullah Adel-Khan Alug during the inauguration of the MEZ Admin Building.
Plaza expressed, “It is crucial for us to hear the concerns of our registered locator companies and determine ways for us to support their ventures especially during this time of pandemic as they are the ones who are keeping our economy afloat.”
She added, “These companies play a vital role in contributing to the total development of the province, allowing us to attain our goal of fully industrializing the Philippines and making it an investment haven in Asia.”
Addressing the concerns of companies after the sunset period provision, the PEZA Chief said that companies may apply for incentives once the sunset period is finished. However, this will now be subject to the tier classifications of CREATE and the SIPP.
Plaza noted that “new applications and expansion of projects will already be covered by the provisions under the CREATE Law, but the PEZA Board is still awaiting the final Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the legislation for the efficient execution of the changes.”
“We’re still hoping that all those we recommended in the IRR, which aims to protect the interest of our registered business enterprises, will be considered,” added Plaza.
PEZA Director General Charito ‘Ching’ Plaza delivers her speech following the ribbon cutting that marked the official opening of the new MEZ Admin Building.
Likewise, the Cebu City LGU, through Atty. Eugene Espedido, also announced that PEZA and the ecozone workers in Lapu-Lapu City will get a free COVID-19 vaccine under A4 priority as economic frontliners.
Atty. Espedido said that he will be coordinating with the City Health Office for the scheduling of the vaccination. “Maybe at this early what I could suggest is for each company to come up with a roster of employees [for the vaccination] and to come up with groupings, with comorbidities as priority, in order to avoid disruption of services,” he explained.
According to Atty. Espedido, “The only way to revive the economy is to prevent COVID and the only way to prevent COVID is to have ourselves vaccinated.”
PEZA Director General Charito ‘Ching’ Plaza along with Mactan Economic Zone Administrator Atty. Abdullah Adel-Khan Alug, and representatives from MEPZCEM and the Lapu-Lapu City LGU during the dialogue with MEZ locator companies
‘Balikatan Sagip Negosyo’ program
Aside from the vaccination, PEZA Director General Plaza also introduced the ‘Balikatan Sagip Negosyo’ program which aims to help registered business enterprises to altogether rise from the present crisis.
According to Plaza, the PEZA Board said that “sales of goods by a PEZA enterprise to other PEZA enterprises may be considered indirect export even if the goods are not directly related to the registered activity of the PEZA enterprise-buyer, provided that the transaction is between two PEZA-registered enterprises.”
Plaza likewise noted that PEZA may consider the extension of the allowance for work-from-home arrangements particularly for IT companies depending on the President’s decision to extend the placement of the country under State of Calamity after 12 September 2021.
“These are just ways for us to pay back our PEZA locators for giving jobs to their constituents, contributing to the social progress of the area with low poverty and crime incidence,” noted the PEZA Chief.
Accordingly, Director General Plaza is gearing towards having a series of dialogues with other LGU hosts of its 413 economic zones nationwide in order to hear their concerns and reciprocate the investors’ contribution to the local economy.