Philippines aims to identify 300 new eco zones in January 2018

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) will identify 300 new economic zones in January 2018, in time for an investment road show where the state-run agency will market these to create new revenue streams.

PEZA Director General Charito Plaza announced this on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Business and Investment Summit on Sunday, November 12.

"That is around 300 [economic zones] next year. We are preparing our economic zones for the economic zones convergence summit in April," Plaza told reporters.

She said PEZA will launch a map of Philippine economic zones in January, identifying zone areas in every province and city nationwide.

Plaza said this would include mega economic zones, spanning 1,000 to 4,000 hectares. A couple of these are the 4,000-hectare economic zone in Bulacan and a 3,000-hectare zone in Pangasinan.

"We are really inviting the big private landowners. There are really many because we are inviting private landowners, local government units, and government agencies managing public lands," Plaza said.

The PEZA chief also said her office is not worried over the backlog of about 58 pending approvals for economic zones. (READ: Lilia de Lima's 21-year work of fighting corruption)

"We just received a resolution from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) requesting the Office of the President to hasten the release of presidential proclamations of eco zones," Plaza said, adding that the PCCI, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, and PEZA "held a dialogue last, last week."

"We promised to hasten all of these, so that the enthusiasm of the investors will not die out," she added.

Under the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 7916 or the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995, PEZA must secure a presidential proclamation before developing an economic zone. –