PEZA’s different types of economic zones to become economic drivers in PH regional and countryside growth
10 June 2020 (Wednesday)
Taguig City – The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Charito “Ching” Plaza has assured that PEZA’s newly proclaimed and more economic zones will become economic drivers in the countryside and the country’s regions. This comes after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed twelve (12) new economic zones proclamations in the period of January to June 2020.
According to Plaza, “Despite the current uncertainties brought about by the pandemic, PEZA remains true to its mandate to bring about investment to the country and create special economic zones, both vertical and horizontal, that will become economic drivers in creating smart towns, cities and new metropolitan areas in every region.”
The newly proclaimed ecozones are comprised of nine (9) IT Centers, (2) Manufacturing ecozones, and one (1) IT Park. These will bring about a total of ₱ 6.4 Billion of investment to the country.
“Ecozones are sources or platforms of new technological transfer and innovations. It is important to note that Local government unit (LGU) hosts of ecozones benefit from the presence of ecozones which improve their income and classification to a higher level compared to the absence of ecozones in some areas,” said Plaza.
The Director General stated, “Ecozones contribute to social progress by lowering poverty, crime incidence, and insurgency because of the infusion of huge capital investments, new technology, and the creation of millions of jobs for the Filipinos."
Plaza explained that “Through whole-of-government approach, let us aim for the Philippines to become self-sufficient, self-sustaining, and revenue-generating. PEZA aims to continually help the economy to be export and production driven and eradicate our importation and consumption dependence.”
“We must harness and properly utilize our own rich natural resources and complete the supply chain and make every Filipino contribute to a vibrant economy and the country’s total development,” stated the PEZA Chief.
Spread development in the countryside
Meanwhile, one of PEZA's 10-point programs and special projects is to establish more public economic zones outside Metro Manila in order to attract more investors to the countryside. This is in line with President Duterte’s Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program also known as Executive Order No. 114 signed on May 6, 2020, and Administrative Order No. 18. signed on June 17, 2019.
The PEZA Chief added, “With the support of other government agencies, we can further improve the efficiency factors of the countryside in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and achieve the vision to make Philippines as investment hub in Asia.”
“PEZA fully supports the President’s vision of spreading development to the countryside including investment, jobs, and develop our millions of hectares idle lands and make the country self-reliant, self-sustaining, and revenue generating,” said Plaza.
“We call on our LGUs, the private sector, the farmers, and the MSMEs to take on this opportunity and promote investments in the countryside,” said the Director General.
Since 2016, when Duterte became President and appointed Director General Plaza in PEZA, there are now a total of 73 proclaimed new ecozones in the period of 2016 to current date in 2020 which are comprised 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. ₱ 88.3 Billion is the total amount of investments brought about by the 73 ecozones proclaimed from October 2016 – June 2020.
Now in its 25th year since it was when it was established by Republic Act 7916 on February 21, 1995, a revolutionized PEZA aims to add its present 408 economic zones nationwide, 4,542 locator companies directly and indirectly employing 6.5 million Filipino workers as of May 2020.