• PEZA to seek US Millennium funding

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    THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) will ask for project funding from the United States’ Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC), PEZA Director General Charito Plaza said last week.

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    PEZA is coming up with a masterplan and design of different economic zones to be built in every province and every city, Plaza said.

    “We will ask for funding. They provided us the information and how we can avail ourselves of financial support through grants or aid, because their project is geared toward poverty alleviation, economic development,” Plaza noted.

    Economic zones are all about economic development and poverty alleviation, and fall within the categories of projects that qualify for MCC funding, she said.

    “We will ask for assistance from MCC for our projects, like we will come up with a masterplan and designing of the different economic zones that we will be building in every province and every city,” she said.

    “Hopefully, this will form as part of the second tranche. We will be submitting soon,” she said.

    In December 2016, the Washington-based MCC removed the Philippines from the group of countries eligible for a second funding grant following concerns about the rule of law and civil liberties.

    In 2011, the MCC gave the Philippines $434 million to finance three projects on boosting revenue collection efforts, strengthening poor communities and developing national roads.

    This will be the first time PEZA will ask for financial assistance from MCC.

    The objective is to make economic zones a platform of economic development, Plaza said.

    The World Bank is also inviting PEZA to join WB programs for ecozone development and infrastructure development within ecozones, she added.

    The conditions do not have to be based on poverty alleviation, Plaza said.

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