Peza aims to open up to 3 new ecozones in 2023
The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) on Thursday said it is aiming to operationalize one to three new economic zones this year, seeing the potential of these industrial and investment hubs as driver of economic growth.
In a televised interview, Peza Deputy Director General for Operations Vivian S. Santos said this is one of the goals they are shooting for at the investment promotion agency for this year.
“We actually expect to operationalize at least one to three new ecozones,” Santos said, adding that a presidential proclamation is needed before any of these economic hubs can start to operate.
Santos said there are 29 pending applications for new ecozones lodged at the Office of the President waiting for the presidential issuance.
Of these, 13 are IT (Information technology) parks and centers, 12 are manufacturing zones, 2 are tourism zones, 1 agro-industrial parks, and 1 mixed-use ecozones.
As of December 2022, Peza has established 421 economic zones since its inception in 1995, which are now housing 4,346 locator firms or projects, most of which are export-oriented.
Of the 421 ecozones, 300 are IT parks and centers, while 78 are manufacturing parks, 23 are agro-industrial parks, 17 are tourism parks and three are medical tourism parks.
In an interview with the Inquirer in late December 2022, Peza Officer-in-Charge and Director General Tereso Panga highlighted the importance of creating and supporting the growth of more economic zones in the country so as not to be left behind by other countries in the region.
Citing a 2021 report on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), Panga said the Philippines was ranked 5th, behind Lao, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Cambodia in terms of the total number of designated special economic zones and economic corridors in the region as of 2020.
Peza is also seeking the creation of new types of ecozones, with at least thirteen identified new types they want to promote.
These ecozone types include aerotropolis, agro-forestry economic zones, aquamarine parks, biotech centers, defense industrial complexes, e-commerce zones, halal and food production hubs, and jewelry parks.
Also included in the Peza’s list are knowledge, innovation, science and technology (KIST) parks, mineral processing zones, pharmaceutical zones, and renewable energy parks.