MANILA – Seventy-three new economic zones were added from October 2016 to June 2020, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said Tuesday.
In a statement, PEZA bared these 73 new ecozones proclaimed by President Rodrigo Duterte in the first four years of his term invested a total of PHP88.3 billion.
Bulk or 52 percent of the new ecozones were information technology (IT) centers, 10 manufacturing ecozones, nine IT parks, one agro-industrial economic zone, and one medical tourism center.
For this year alone, PEZA said Duterte signed 12 proclamations for new PEZA ecozones, including the country’s first Knowledge, Innovation, Science and Technology, or KIST Park in Batangas State University.
“Being a KIST Park will now enable Batangas State University to partner with foreign schools to bring their programs so we can create more skilled Filipinos as we embark on transforming our workforce to become multi-skilled, multi-knowledge and world class,” PEZA Director General Charito Plaza said.
PEZA has been pursuing the KIST parks as a new type of ecozone that aims to create stronger linkage between industries and the academe to develop the country’s human resources.
“PEZA is spreading the creation of different types of ecozones like the KIST Park nationwide, especially to the countryside. This is by the virtue of the Administrative Order No. 18 and in support of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program,” Plaza said.
“Through the KIST and skills training programs, we can spread not just investments but also employment, technology and skills to attain the total development of the Philippines,” she added.
Meanwhile, Plaza said 63 applications for new ecozones are waiting for Duterte’s signature.
“Once signed, these will bring in export companies to the Philippines. PEZA’s different types of economic zones are built or proclaimed in accordance to the land available and efficiency and environmental factors in the location. It is assessed if the type of industry is viable or suitable in the area,” she said. (PNA)