The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) aims for a 7 percent growth in investments this year over last year, confident that the passage of the CREATE bill will encourage more companies to expand and locate in the various economic zones.

PEZA Deputy Director General Tereso Panga said at the virtual presscon for PEZA Global Biz that the 7 percent growth was seen achievable given the 53 percent growth in registered committed investments in the first quarter this year over the same period last year. This was also the growth forecast PEZA submitted to the Board of Investments.

To help its registered enterprises, PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza said they are hopeful they will be allowed to extend the work from home authority of as much as 90 percent, which is expected to expire in September this year.

PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza

In addition, PEZA is also pushing for the lifting of the moratorium on the registration of BPOs in Metro Manila stressing that 9 cities in the Metro Manila do not yet host a BPO firm. These cities also joined PEZA in asking for the lifting of the moratorium under Administrative Order issued by President Duterte in 2019 to force BPO firms to expand in the countryside.

“Only 5 cities Makati, Ortigas, Quezon City, Alabang and Taguig host BPOs in Metro Manila, but 9 others not hosting one,” she said.

In addition, there are still efficiency sectors that must be addressed in the provinces such as infrastructure.

Manufacturing enterprises, however, are not affected by the lockdowns and now operating 90 percent of capacity.

PEZA also addresses the high cost of power in the country by getting a dedicated power supplier for ecozones to ensure locators can avail of lower power rates. For instance, Cavite ecozone locators enjoy P5 per kilowatt hour power rate as against P12 per kwh outside of the zone. Mactan ecozone also grants P6 per kwh versus P17 outside of the zone.

PEZA is also transforming its four 4 public ecozones to become models of township ecozones where locators and workers can work live and play insider the zone.

In addition, all ecozones under PEZA are being transformed towards environment friendly industrialization.

Source: Manila Bulletin (