19 November 2021 (Friday)
Pasay City – GOOD NEWS! The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Charito B. Plaza signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime H. Morente yesterday, 18 November, for faster and smoother issuance of PEZA-Visas (PVs) for qualified applicants.
This is in adherence to Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.
Through the Signing of the said MOA and its IRR, the PEZA Chief said, “This [will now] allow PEZA to issue working visas to our foreign investors, non-resident foreign employees of PEZA-registered ecozone enterprises, and their respective qualified dependents.”
“Starting this December 1, PEZA and the Bureau of Immigration are finally reducing the processing of visa facilitation and approval from one (1) month to ten (10) days which will greatly improve government processes,” Plaza adds.
On the part of the Bureau of Immigration, Commissioner Morente said, “The signing of this MOA and IRR is a major step forward as we expand our services through collaborations with like-minded institutions such as PEZA.”
Morente states, “The PEZA-Visas will serve not only to facilitate the conduct of businesses in PEZA-registered ecozones, but also highlight the many measures that have been taken by the national government to ensure the ease of doing business (EODB) throughout the country.”
Streamlining visa procedures is pursuant to the “Project Repeal” of the government. It is a government-wide regulatory reform initiative to repeal outdated rules, reduce the cost of doing business, and improve the country’s investment growth.
PEZA-BI MOA and IRR Signing
With the MOA and IRR in place, both agencies will establish a one-stop shop at the PEZA Head office in Double Dragon Plaza, Pasay City with corresponding personnel to expedite the processing, approval, and issuance of PVs.
The Director General highlighted that “our PEZA-Visas shall be valid within and outside our registered economic zones with two (2) years of validity. Qualified dependent/s of foreign national employees working in any of our ecozones can also avail our PVs and is co-terminus with the validity of the PV of the principal foreign investor or employee.”
PEZA-registered enterprises can submit their foreign employees’ PV applications with their complete requirements to the PEZA Zone Administrator or Manager of the ecozone where their enterprise is located.
Meanwhile, IT-BPO companies in Metro Manila, tourism, and medical-tourism ecozone enterprises can submit their PV applications in PEZA Head Office.
According to Morente, the Immigration Commissioner, “This MOA [and its IRR] will ensure that the procedures and processes for monitoring the employment of foreign nationals are implemented properly and consistently.”
Foreign nationals employed in any PEZA-registered enterprises must submit documentary requirements such as a notarized application form, notarized company’s letter request addressed to the PEZA Director General, checklist of application for PV extension or change of admission, certified true copy of PEZA Certificate of Registration, and photocopy of the foreign applicant’s passport, among others.
On the other hand, dependents of foreign employees must also submit a notarized application form, photocopy of their passport, Philippine embassy/consulate or PSA-issued birth and marriage certificates, and notarized Affidavit of Support/Guarantee which is executed by the PEZA-registered company’s President or Vice President.
PEZA Chief said, “Once approved and issued, the visa will no longer be called the 47 (a)2 visa, but it will be known as the PEZA-Visa with two years validity for qualified international employees and their dependents.”
The Signing of the MOA and its IRRs heeds the national government’s efforts in reopening the country’s economy both to local and foreign investors as quarantine or lockdown levels gradually eases up.
Commissioner Morente believes that “partnerships such as this are most helpful and productive for the Bureau especially this is a joint effort that incorporates the needs of PEZA and its locators as well as the mandate of BI with regards to foreign nationals.”