The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Board is set to approve 27 new projects with a total project cost of P2 billion, Director General Charito Plaza said on Tuesday.
“This Friday, the PEZA Board will again approve 27 projects. Projected employment of these projects is 3,694. We will also include other projects. We will disclose the total number of projected employment and project cost after the meeting,” Plaza told reporters in an online presser.
Plaza said PEZA continues to be optimistic despite the decline in investment pledges in the first four months of the year.
“I am very positive. In fact, we will be doing a continuous investors forum. We have now a range of investors’ forums from different countries in the forum with the help of our attaches. Amid Covid, we are still very aggressive in inviting investors,” she said referring to the coronavirus disease 2019.
PEZA earlier disclosed that investment pledges in January to May dropped by 31 percent to P29.5 billion from last year’s P43.2 billion.
Plaza, meanwhile, said that to help accelerate development in the country, it is launching the Development Outreach for Labor, Livelihood and Advancement of Resources (Human Resource, Technical Resource, Natural Resource and Financial Resource) program, or also known as the Peza Dollar program.
The program is part of PEZA’s new 10 programs and special projects. It is also in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s Balik Probinsya program.
“The objective of the Dollar program is to promote and accelerate industrial, economic and social development of the country so that jobs can be provided for the Filipino people especially among those living in rural areas,” said Plaza.
Plaza said the Dollar program has five subprograms, namely: job expo; innovation and livelihood expo; online special economic zone training; import and export expo; and logistics, transportation, utilities and supply chain expo.
The job expo that will be done via an online platform, also seeks to give job opportunities to repatriated overseas Filipino workers. The job expo will be launched on July 13, 2020.
“Through the SEZ Institute, PEZA will facilitate in matching the skills needed by our locators, ecozones and industries. The jobs available as provided by our locator companies varies. The IT-BPO (information technology-business process outsourcing) related jobs for instance (need) call center agents, accounting, bookkeeping, software developments. Most of these locator companies are located in Metro Manila, Calabarzon (Region 4A),Pampanga, Tarlac, Baguio, Iloilo, Cebu. In Mindanao, we also have ecozones,” said Plaza.
PEZA’s Dollar program will be implemented in coordination with various local government units, public ecozones, locators and industry associations.