THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) will be actively involved in creating new industrial cities as part of efforts to develop economic zones in every city and province, PEZA Director General Charito Plaza said.
PEZA believes that developing ecozones is the best way to spur countryside development.
“While we continue our partnership with the private sectors, PEZA will now be actively involved in the creation of new economic zones. Thus, revolutionizing PEZA with the goal of industrializing the Philippines by building industrial cities with the development of economic zones in every province and city,” Plaza said.
“We have witnessed how former third-class municipalities have evolved into first-class municipalities and have even been upgraded into full-pledged cities because of the development created by the presence of economic zones throughout the country,” she said.
In October 2016, PEZA sought an exemption from the planned two-year moratorium on land conversion, citing the need to continue developing economic zones in order to maintain momentum in investments.
“We have concerns, because right now we’re working out with [the Department of Agrarian Reform],” then-PEZA Officer-in-Charge Justo Porfirio Ll. Yusingco said.
The department wanted a two-year moratorium on land conversion, but was hoping for a Cabinet-level action on the matter to recognize “some exceptions” like economic zones.
In the latest agreement, ecozones are exempted from the moratorium on land conversion, Plaza said.
“We have four public ecozones, and we’re only asking a rental of P19 to P27 per square meter per month, compared with private ecozones of $5 per square meter per month,” she said.
The four ecozones owned by PEZA are the Cavite Economic Zone, Mactan Economic Zone, Baguio Economic Zone and Pampanga Economic Zone. Plaza noted that rental revenues are big source of for PEZA, Plaza noted.