PEZA adapts automated systems and processes to enhance the ease of doing business in economic zones
03 March 2021 (Wednesday)
Pasay City – The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Charito “Ching” Plaza announced on her State of PEZA Address (SOPA) last Wednesday, February 24, 2021, that the agency will begin to use and implement automated systems and processes including an online payment method accessible to applicant investors or current locators in ecozones.
“Now in its 26th year, it is high time that PEZA’s governance adapt technology and innovations and explore digital platforms to improve good governance, transparency, ease of doing business, and accountability,” said Plaza.
In line with this, PEZA Director General Plaza and I-PAY MYEG PH (IPMPI) Chief Executive Officer Ann Margaret Saldana signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on February 18, 2021, at PEZA Head Office in Pasay. IPMPI is an online payment gateway provider that operates and maintains an Electronic Payment Collection System (EPCS) and has the capability to integrate with PEZA’s online portal.
MOA for the online payment platform
The signing of MOA between the PEZA and IPMPI is in line with the Republic Act No. 11032, also known as the “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Services Delivery Act of 2019” that aims to improve transaction systems and procedures. As such, the use of electronic payment and collection system by PEZA will enhance and promote more efficient services to the general public.
PEZA Chief Plaza said in her SOPA speech last Wednesday, “This will improve transparency, accountability, and good governance in PEZA’s brand of service.”
According to her, the EPCS will roll out in 30 to 45 days following the recent MOA signing with IPMPI. The EPCS enables clients to remit payments through various channels such as ATM accounts, credit cards, mobile wallets, and over-the-counter facilities.
IPMPI has offered its EPCS and related services to PEZA at no cost, and has also passed the PEZA accreditation process for online payment gateway providers.
Director General Charito "Ching" Plaza and I-PAY MYEG PH (IPMPI) Chief Executive Officer Ann Margaret Saldana together with MYEG Business Development Head Clemente Antonio Sarte signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the EPCS and related services, on February 18, 2021.
Other automation efforts
Further, the Office of the Board Secretary and the Cavite Economic Zone (CEZ) have started the Digitization and Document Management System (DMS) allowing a more efficient, secure, and organized document management for PEZA. “Economic zones in Mactan and Baguio City will begin using the system in the next few weeks with the scanners recently deployed”, Plaza noted.
The Electronic Letter of Authority (eLOA) for four types of LOAs is currently undergoing pilot implementation. Electronic filing of other types of LOAs and the eLOA’s integration to the payment gateway system is targeted on April 2021.
Automating engineering permits and visa
Meanwhile, the Engineering Permits Assessment Monitoring System (EPAMS) is now being redeveloped to update system functionalities and secure a more efficient interconnection with the Billing and Collection System. EPAMs automates the filing and monitoring of engineering permits.
Also, the procurement process and development of the online VISA for foreign investors will start this year. It is a web-based system that will manage and monitor the submission of visa applications of foreign nationals, expatriates, and their dependents working for PEZA-registered enterprise.
TIMTA reports for submission via online
Lastly, PEZA Chief conveyed that TIMTA report submissions, required by law to be submitted to PEZA by locators receiving tax incentives, will adapt an online system developed by NEDA. The Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act System or TIMTA System under R.A. 10708 allows for the submission of online documents of annual reports which will also reduce the tedium or organizing and extracting voluminous data required by the TIMTA.
These adaptations showcase a continuous improvement of the ease of doing business in the Philippines and particularly in PEZA which manages 401 ecozones and more than 4,000 locator companies.