PEZA Director General Tereso O. Panga said in a statement that the new ecozone development projects are 579.23% higher than the P4.858-billion registered in the same January-June period in 2023.
Photo Insert: A PEZA ecozone in Cebu.
He also said that investments with a minimum capital of P1 billion need FIRB approval. These new ecozones will also be endorsed to Malacanang for Presidential Proclamation.
“We're thrilled to announce that our ecozone development projects have seen a significant increase in investment from January to June 2023. In comparison to last year's figures of P4.858 billion worth of investments during the same period, we've experienced a 579.23% jump to P33.002 billion. This uptick in ecozone development investment is crucial as it indicates a growing demand for proclaimed areas, which is further supported by the rise in new and expansion projects,” noted Panga.
For the breakdown of the eight approved new and expansion ecozone projects, three are manufacturing ecozones, one IT Center, and four IT Parks. The largest investment among the projects is a manufacturing special economic zone (SEZ) which will be located in Medellin, Cebu to be known as the North Cebu Economic Zone with a project cost of P27.178 billion.
The two more manufacturing ecozones are the expansion projects in Lima Technology Center-SEZ in Malvar, Batangas and in Gateway Business Park-SEZ, in General Trias, Cavite having a total project cost of P233.26 million.
Further, for the four new IT Parks with total investments of P1.474 billion, three will be situated in Araneta City, Quezon City and the other IT Park will be in South Cotabato City. The other IT Center will be in Makati City with an investment of P4.116 billion.
Meanwhile, during the first year of the PFRM administration covering the period July 2022 to June 2023, the PEZA Board has greenlighted 17 ecozone development projects with a total investment of P122.274 billion.
These are composed of seven new and expansion manufacturing ecozones, eight IT Parks, 1 IT Center, and one new agro-industrial ecozone and will be located in Regions 1 – Ilocos Region, three - Central Luzon, four - CALABARZON, six - Western Visayas, 12 – SOCCSKARGEN, and National Capital Region (NCR).
The eight pre-qualified ecozones for the first half of 2023 are part of the total 17 new and expansion ecozones approved during the one-year coverage of the current administration and are in various stages of development.
As part of the Director General’s commitment to revisit processes to better cater to the evolving needs of PEZA’s stakeholders, the PEZA Board has approved Board Resolution No. 23-138 to streamline the ecozone proclamation process, making it easier to do business within the ecozones.
“As we are now beefing up our agency to continuously enhance our delivery of services and facilitate faster ecozone proclamations to provide ready-for-occupancy sites for our agile locators, it is high time for PEZA to amend its guidelines for a simplified application, proclamation, and registration process for new and expanding ecozone developer/operator projects,” said Panga.
He also expressed optimism that by passing this resolution, more economic zones could be established, especially in rural areas. This will effectively make the Philippines ready to accept more investments from global market players, and ultimately, increase exports, create more job opportunities, and hasten countryside development for the foreseeable future.
PEZA Board Resolution No. 23-138 will take effect immediately following its complete publication in a newspaper of general publication.