MANILA – The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and Philippine Ecozones Associations (PHILEA) are confident of the country’s competitiveness in developing more economic zones as the former hosted on Nov. 9 a consultative meeting on the plans, updates, and key concerns on ecozone development.

In continued pursuits to execute the agency’s mandate of attracting investments and implementing the ecozone program nationwide, PEZA officer in charge and Deputy Director General Tereso Panga said “PEZA would not have been a success story without the support from PHILEA.”

"We are more than encouraged by the pronouncement of President Bongbong Marcos for his full support to economic zones that shall bring in strategic industries and countryside development,” he said.

PHILEA president Francisco Zaldarriaga said, “Ecozones are developing communities as well. Part of the ecozones’ core is also community-building.”

List of pending economic zones

As of October 2022, Panga said, “PEZA currently has 13 pending economic zones that we look forward to be proclaimed by the current administration. One (1) is already endorsed to the Office of President Marcos, while 12 are endorsed to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).”

Panga said these 13 pending ecozones are expected to bring in investments amounting to PHP17.92 billion.

For the breakdown, there are seven pending manufacturing ecozones, two for IT Parks Centers, one for the Knowledge, Innovation, Science, and Technology (KIST) Park, and one agro-industrial ecozone which are all located outside Metro Manila.

Panga is confident that in 2022, “there will be an upturn as we have been getting big-ticket projects enough to recover and even surpass our 2019 (investment) levels.”

PHILEA President Zaldarriaga said that from 1995 to March 2022, “Total investments from PHILEA ecozones is approximately PHP1.13 trillion, generated USD$ 411 billion in exports, and employed 378,395 workers.”

More incoming projects

Panga said the Light Industry & Science Park (LISP) last month closed a project with a data center with PHP3.4 billion of investments.

“Another big-ticket investment is currently in talks with Suntrust,” he said.

Meanwhile, at the recent investment forum in Taiwan and South Korea, Panga said “PEZA big-ticket projects from Taiwan and South Korea are ready to apply and register with us.”

With aggressive investment promotions, he is confident that “The 6 to 7% target for 2022 is attainable and we must also continuously work with other agencies to promote the creation of more ecozones, particularly in the countryside and new growth areas.”

Zaldarriaga said “PHILEA and PEZA are partners in nation-building.” (PR)