16 November 2021 (Tuesday)
Pasay City – The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Charito B. Plaza is inviting Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) or local businesses and urge stronger ties with business chambers for more robust investments in the country during the recent Global Biz Forum with the Philippine Chamber for Commerce and Industry (PCCI) last Monday, November 8.
PEZA Chief Plaza said, “Products and services produced in the Philippines are world-class and in the ever-changing society amidst the ongoing pandemic, we must remain competitive and productive in promoting local investment opportunities that our country can offer to potential investors.”
Plaza highlighted that PEZA works on innovative ways to improve and expand various investment and employment opportunities in the country. “Even with all these pandemic challenges, PEZA continues to find local partners for foreign investments in line with the reopening of our country’s economy,” she said.
Under Administrative Order (AO) 18, PEZA strives within its mandate to spread the creation of special economic zones to the countryside to accelerate rural progress, to hasten human capital and infrastructure development, and provide interventions to strengthen economic zones even those outside Metro Manila.
The PEZA Chief believes that “MSMEs adapting our worldview of ‘thinking global, acting local’ and becoming our local partners can help complete the local supply chain as our economic zone developers. They can even register their lands and enterprises as PEZA-registered ecozones.”
PCCI President Ambassador Benedicto V. Yujuico is one with PEZA and this month’s Global Biz theme of Mobilizing Domestic Enterprises Towards Economic Recovery for All. Ambassador Yujuico said, “Because of the successful implementations [of economic zones] by PEZA, we now have [the] BPO [sector] as our country’s second-largest dollar earner after our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the means of remittances,” the Ambassador added.
Business opportunities for domestic enterprises
On the potential areas for investment in South Luzon, Regional Governor of Region 4, Sallie C. Lacson said, “[As] the urban gateway corridor for industrialization, CALABARZON region hosts the big names in electronics and semiconductor industries such as Panasonic, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Samsung, Epson, and Sony, among others.”
As of March 2021, PEZA manages a total of 61 economic zones located in CALABARZON with 2,022 locator companies with Laguna as the highest number of locators followed by Cavite and Batangas.
Regional Governor Lacson noted that “most of the ecozones in [Region 4] are newly built which can provide areas for economic-related activities especially for manufacturing, electronics, automotive, food processing, pharmaceutical, and consumer products.”
“With the establishment of new roads, highways, and bridges [in South Luzon], ecozones can benefit on this for shorter delivery routes of raw materials from ports to industrial facilities,” Lacson added.
This has been seconded by the Crabmeat Canning Plant Owner and Bacolod Blue Star Export Corporation Consultant Willard Gallo stating that “road widening with corresponding drainage systems is a priority for ease of transport of raw materials and finished goods.”
Meanwhile, the Mindanao region, Macala Business Group Owner and Bangon Marawi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) President Elian Macala expressed his interest for the banking, logistics, agricultural, and manufacturing companies to locate and operate in Marawi City for socio-economic recovery.
BMCCI President Macala said, “My fellow Maranaos are still recuperating from the siege in 2017 [and the effects of the COVID-19], hence, we need the assistance of the national government and private sectors to help us rebuild Marawi and invest in our city which will also establish malls and other halal food chains.
Consultant Willard Gallo is also looking for business potential partners particularly those who are into venture capital partnerships. Gallo said, “As the fourth biggest seafood processing commodity in our country, we want to adapt [to] more modern technological practices as we are 100% exports.”
On CREATE, PEZA Deputy Director General for Policy and Planning Tereso O. Panga highlighted that “local investors can avail our fiscal incentives such as initially enjoying the 4 to 7 years of income tax holiday (ITH) with tier classification after the ITH period. After this period, they can enjoy additional 5 years of enhanced deductions.”
“LGUs also play a critical role in providing additional incentives and helping PEZA create a conducive business environment. Magtulungan po tayo,” added Panga.
Young and dynamic workforce
With the young, growing, and well-educated population as well as having vibrant natural resources in the Philippines, PCCI Ambassador Yujuico said, “I believe these will propel our country’s economy in moving forward.”
On the part of South Luzon, Regional Governor Lacson proudly highlighted that “Region 4 has competent and highly-educated human resourced-based for the manufacturing and services industries with reliable industries, well-placed infrastructure, business-friendly environment, and booming tourism circuits.”
PCCI Secretary General Ruben J. Pascual commends PEZA under the leadership of Plaza. He said, “PEZA has really accomplished a lot of things especially in opening up new economic zones and protecting [more than] 1.6 million jobs of Filipinos. And now, PEZA has opened up investment opportunities to domestic enterprises which will be beneficial to PCCI members.”
“I accept the challenge on behalf of PCCI to beat the conduit to local investors and ecozone developers for PEZA. I see a lot of possibilities on how we can help you [PEZA] promote with all the foreign chamber partners of PCCI as well as assist you in designing of ecozones with our foremost architectures that we have,” added the Secretary General.
PCCI also assures PEZA as its advocacy partner in the amendment of 12% tax under the CREATE Law.