THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is inviting defense contractors to locate in the economic zone called the Defense Industrial Complex.
“We’ll be inviting defense industries around the world like manufacturers of military aircraft, ships, arms and ammunitions, drones, combat clothing and other supplies of the military and the police to locate their companies in our Defense Industrial Complex,” Charito Plaza, PEZA director general said on January 9.
The 300-hectare industrial complex in Bataan houses Camp Gen. Antonio Luna, the government arsenal established 50 years ago as a munitions plant for the Armed Forces of the Philippines. It has since expanded its activities to include manufacturing and repair of small firearms.
“So, the Department of National Defense is also inviting defense industries to locate in their property,” Plaza said.
PEZA is looking at expanding industrial complexes throughout the country. “We are eyeing many, depending on the potentials. I would suggest that we have two in Mindanao, one in Puerto Princesa, and two or three in Luzon—one in Zambales,” she said.
This is the first foray of PEZA into the defense ecozone. “We are inviting all types of industries, except the mass destruction. And it will be exported,” she added.
Hermosa, Bataan Mayor Antonio Joseph Rivera Inton is donating 3,000 hectares near the government arsenal, Puerto Princesa Mayor Lucilo Bayron is donating 1,500 hectares, according to the PEZA official.
“To minimize importation, we will invite more industries that will manufacture and process our raw materials, so there will be massive modernization and transfer of technology,” Plaza said.
Plaza noted the Japanese prime minister will be visiting the Philippines on January 12 and 13.
“We, will have a roundtable discussion in Malacañang. I will represent PEZA, as the PM will be accompanied by some investors,” she added. Almost 30 percent of PEZA locators are Japanese companies.