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PEZA-BatStateU launches the first KIST Park in PH

PEZA-BatStateU launches the first KIST Park in PH
July 21, 2020
PEZA-BatStateU launches the first KIST Park in PH

21 July 2020 (Tuesday)

Taguig City – The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has welcomed Batangas State University (BatStateU) as the Philippines’ first-ever Knowledge, Innovation, Science and Technology (KIST) Park, which was officially launched online yesterday, July 20, 2020, in observance of the COVID-19 measures.

The KIST Park was initiated by PEZA Director General Charito “Ching” Plaza as one of the new types of special economic zones, which will finally put to use the millions of hectares of idle lands of the State Universities and Colleges’ (SUCs) landholdings.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte officially designated BatStateU as a PEZA-registered special economic zone through Proclamation No. 947, signed on May 22, 2020. PEZA granted BatStateU its registration under Certificate of Registration No. EZ-20-07.

According to the PEZA Chief, “Being a KIST Park will now enable BatStateU to partner with foreign schools to bring their programs so we can create a more skilled Filipinos as we embark on transforming our workforce to become multi-skilled, multi-knowledge, and world class.”

PEZA Board chairman and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez added, “Ang KIST Park ay siguradong makakatulong sa pagbunsod ng kapasidad at kakayahan ng BatStateU na magsagawa ng mga pananaliksik para matugunan ang mga pangangailangan ng industriya pati na rin ang pag-incubate ng mga start-up enterprises upang matugunan ang demand ng mga merkado.”

Likewise, BatStateU President Tirso Ronquillo expressed that, “with this development, SUCs in the Philippines can expand their programs for industry, academe, market synergy, technopreneurship, business incubation acceleration based on innovation and knowledge procreation in science and technology.”

SEZ Institute partnership

On July 13, PEZA, BatStateU, and the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) have also signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to partner with the university in establishing a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Institute in the area.

Plaza noted that “The SEZ Institute aims to provide skills training, research, etc. based on the type of industry identified in the region and be partner with SUCs with competence to transform every Filipino worker into multi-skilled, world class, and rich human capital, addressing one of the efficiency factors investor are looking for.”

PEZA economic zones

According to Plaza, “PEZA is spreading the creation of different types of ecozones like the KIST Park nationwide, especially to the countryside. This is by the virtue of the Administrative Order no. 18 and in support of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program (Executive Order no. 114).”

“Through the KIST and skills training programs, we can spread not just investments but also employment, technology, and skills. to attain the total development of the Philippines,” noted the PEZA Chief.

President Rodrigo has signed a total of 12 proclamations for new PEZA-registered ecozones, including the BatStateU KIST Park, since January 2020.

Since 2016, when Duterte became President and appointed Director General Plaza in PEZA, there are now a total of 73 proclaimed new ecozones comprising of one (1) Agro-Industrial Economic Zone, fifty-two (52) Information Technology Centers, nine (9) Information Technology Parks, ten (10) Manufacturing Economic Zones, and one (1) Medical Tourism Center. A total of ₱ 88.3 Billion investments have been brought about by the 73 ecozones, which were proclaimed from October 2016 – June 2020.

To date, there are still 63 pending applications for proclamation of new economic zones in the Office of the President. “Once signed, these will bring in export companies to the Philippines. PEZA’s different type of economic zones are built or proclaimed in accordance to the land available and efficiency and environmental factors in the location. It is assessed if the type of industry is viable or suitable in the area,” said Plaza.