DAVAO City is in need of economic zones to attract more investors to locate in the city and to make use of the incentive and investment packages offered by the city government, said Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII).

According to DCCCII president Arturo Milan, an economic zone will serve as a “magnet” for investors as it itself is a clear offering of location.

“What’s the value of having income tax holiday if you don’t a place where they can [locate]? The first thing that the investors [look for] when they come, they wanted to see a site…It’s just a matter of locating the area,” said Milan adding that key cities such as Cebu and Cagayan de Oro already have economic zones.

As what they had been doing for the last five years with Board of Investments (BOI) Davao Extension Office director Gil Dureza and former Davao City Investment and Promotions Center (DCIPC) head Ivan Cortez, Milan said they will continue to push for an economic zone to be finally established in Davao City. In Davao Region, there is already an existing economic zone in Sta. Cruz and Panabo.

“It comes at handy and very convenient for the investors. This is really the one we are trying to push. Unfortunately, the big tracks of land in Davao City are privately owned already. And if there are available for sale, they are very speculative in prices. You know prices now in Davao City, are really very speculative. So, that’s really the challenge on how we can convert. That’s why we are looking for government lands to be converted because it’s really a tall order for private lands to be converted into because of the very speculative prices,” Milan said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) established its first business center in Davao City September of last year.

The business center, located at Damosa IT Park, Lanang will be assisting clients in processing import and export permits, provide detailed services like document processing, and connecting clients to other Peza offices.

In a previously published report in Sunstar Cebu December of last year, Peza Director General Charito Plaza said that they are drafting a map identifying different economic zone types and locations nationwide.

“We will soon be coming up with a Philippine economic zones map, and Peza is going around every province and city, helping them identify the potential economic zones that can be built in their municipalities,” Plaza said.

“In every province and city, there must be economic zone locations to attract all types of industries in the world to come over to the Philippines and invest,” she added.