PHL eyes new economic zones including defense industrial complexes

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), the country’s major investment promotion agency (IPA), is eyeing to attract developers of new economic zones such as defense industrial complexes, agro-forestry ecozones, mineral processing ecozones, aquamarine ecozones, halal hubs and production zones, renewable energy eco-industrial parks, free trade zone in international airports and seaports logistics parks.

This is amid the allocation of 70,476 hectares of land in 137 new locations throughout the country to host new economic zones. Bulk of these potential areas for ecozone development are for manufacturing sector, present in 74 sites with a total land area of 39,941 hectares, according to PEZA data.

This is followed by 19 new sites with 19,815-hectare land for tourism sector; 10,668-hectare land in 30 locations for agro-industrial ecozones; 42-hectare land in seven areas for information technology (IT) parks; 4.5-hectare land in six locations for IT centers; and one site with 5-hectare property for retirement services sector.

Since PEZA Director General Charito Plaza took office, PEZA has been active in engaging local government units (LGUs) and other public offices to offer their idle lands to be potential sites for development of more ecozones.

From February 2017 to January 2018, PEZA had memoranda of agreement and understanding with 18 government agencies to collaborate in identifying new areas that can be converted to ecozones as well as helping the IPA to make doing business in ecozones easier for existing and potential investors.

“Ecozones encourage export, increase production and manufacturing capability, and create thousand of jobs, thus spur the economic growth and increase of infrastructure and logistics transportation facilities,” she said.