The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Board has pre-qualified a total of eight big-ticket ecozone development projects amounting to PhP33.002 billion of investments for the first half of 2023.
These new and expansion ecozones will undergo FIRB approval for projects with minimum capital investment of PhP1 billion and Presidential Proclamation as required for the developers’ signing of Registration Agreement (RA) with PEZA.
According to PEZA Director General Tereso O. Panga, “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 PhP4.858 billion worth of investments during the same period, we’ve experienced a 579.23% jump to Php33.002 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.”
For the breakdown of the 8 approved new and expansion ecozone projects, three (3) are manufacturing ecozones, 1 IT Center, and four (4) 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 North Cebu Economic Zone with a project cost of PhP27.178 billion.
The 2 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 PhP233.260 million.
Further, for the 4 new IT Parks with total investments of PhP1.474 billion, 3 will be situated in Araneta City, Quezon City and the other (1) IT Park will be in South Cotabato City. The (1) IT Center will be in Makati City with an investment of PhP4.116 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 PhP122.274 billion.
These are composed of seven (7) new and expansion manufacturing ecozones, eight (8) IT Parks, 1 IT Center, and 1 new agro-industrial ecozone and will be located in Regions 1 – Ilocos Region, 3 – Central Luzon, 4-A – CALABARZON, 6 – Western Visayas, 12 – SOCCSKARGEN, and National Capital Region (NCR).
The 8 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.
Streamlining of ecozone proclamation process
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.
PEZA Director General Panga said, “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.”
Director General Panga 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.