House Speaker Velasco lauds PEZA's balancing acts, listens to concerns of investors
22 October 2020 (Thursday)
Pasay City – The new House Speaker Congressman Lord Allan Jay Velasco has lauded and expressed support to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority’s (PEZA) programs and efforts to keep and attract investors to the Philippines amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, PEZA Director General Charito “Ching” Plaza has welcomed House Speaker Velasco with Bataan Province Representative Jose Enrique “Joet” Garcia III to the agency’s new office at Double Dragon Center WEST Bldg. in Pasay.
“PEZA is grateful that the very humble and esteemed new House Speaker himself visited PEZA’s new office to dialogue with us and listen to stakeholders about the export-industry which have been adversely hit by the COVID-imposed lockdowns and global crisis the halted exports and investments, thus affecting jobs,” said Plaza.
“He is such a humble, hands on, and down-to-earth House Speaker who even went out of his way to visit us in PEZA to discuss with us how we can assist and support our investors during these trying times and to even continue to attract new investors to the country,” said Plaza.
Velasco lauds PEZA's balancing acts
During the dialogue, the PEZA Chief presented PEZA’s performance under the Duterte administration, the great balancing acts during the pandemic where PEZA is able to continue operations of majority of ecozones, and the export-industry continue to give jobs to thousands of Filipinos.
“COVID-19 cannot stop us in PEZA to act locally and think globally, to give jobs and hope to many Filipinos, and keep the competitiveness of Philippine investments. We are glad for the support we receive on this mission to help our economy survive and keep jobs, investments, and export incomes,” said Plaza.
“PEZA and its registered-enterprises or companies immensely contribute to the economy with majority of its companies operational and its employees working amidst the COVID-19 crisis. We are glad that our esteemed lawmakers like the House Speaker show openness to listen to the concerns and role of our export-industry and ecozones” she said.
Based on the latest report from PEZA ecozones about its locator companies’ operations for the period of September 21-26, 2020, 87% of the total PEZA registered companies in different types of ecozones are operational. Such 87% is constituted by 2,620 of companies nationwide regulated by PEZA. Breaking down this numbers, PEZA recorded that IT/BPO sector is 83% operational, while manufacturing is 90% operational.
Velasco supports role of PEZA in AO No. 18 to spread development
Plaza also discussed with the House Speaker PEZA’s new concept in creating different types of economic zones to fully implement President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Administrative Order No. 18, which mandates the creation of special economic zones in the countryside.
According to the Director General, “PEZA’s economic zones have modeled to bring peace, prosperity, lowered poverty and crime incidence with LGU hosts’ increase their income and classification and their constituents provided with jobs and better lives.”
The largest export-oriented Investment Promotion Agency in the country that regulates ecozones, PEZA is renowned for its best practices for providing a better business environment due to its regulatory transparency, no red-tape policy, and one-stop shop services for investors.
PEZA’s outstanding performance over the years has likewise been continuously recognized globally including the IFC World Bank as having the “best practice among the economic zones worldwide.”
Meanwhile, the recent US Department of State 2020 Investment Climate Statement made the specific statement that the “While the Philippine bureaucracy can be slow and opaque in its processes, the business environment is notably better within the special economic zones, particularly those available for export businesses operated by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), known for its regulatory transparency, no red-tape policy, and one-stop shop services for investors.”
It further said that, “PEZA administrators have earned a reputation for maintaining a clear and predictable investment environment within the zones of their authority.”
Moreover, the cost and benefit analysis (CBA) study conducted by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has vindicated PEZA’s globally-competitive, tried and tested tax incentives that it indeed generates more investments and contribution to the economy.
Velasco and Garcia both supported PEZA’s plans and programs and pledged to extend help in ways they can.
PEZA will soon conduct another roundtable discussion with House Speaker Velasco together with the industry associations, foreign chambers, and other PEZA stakeholders to come up with a contingency plan for the future of foreign direct investments in the country and the spreading of special ecozones to the countryside, jobs, and technologies to attain the total development of the country and make the Philippines as an investment haven in Asia.
“We need to fully industrialize the country to realize President Duterte’s Ambisyon Natin 2024, that every Filipino will have jobs, and Filipinos will be in the middle state of our society,” noted Plaza.