A TOTAL of 12 new economic zones (ecozones) were proclaimed by President Rodrigo Duterte in the first half of this year, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) said.
These newly proclaimed ecozones comprise nine information and technology (IT) centers, two manufacturing ecozones and one IT Park, bringing about a total of P6.4 billion of investment to the country.
“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,” said Peza Director General Charito Plaza.
“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,” she added.
Ecozones also 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.
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 114 signed on May 6, 2020, and Administrative Order 18 signed on June 17, 2019.
“Peza fully supports President Duterte’s vision of spreading development to the countryside including investment, jobs, and develop our millions of hectares of 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 micro, small and medium enterprises to take on this opportunity and promote investments in the countryside,” she added.
Peza said a total of 73 ecozones were proclaimed since 2016, which comprise one agro-industrial economic zone, 52 IT Centers, nine IT Parks, 10 manufacturing economic zones and one medical tourism center.
Investments brought by these 73 ecozones reached P88.3 billion from October 2016 to June 2020.
Peza had 408 economic zones nationwide with 4,542 locator companies employing about 6.5 million Filipino workers as of May 2020. (PR)