THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has declared a Cavite-based university a special economic zone for science and technology.

PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza signed an agreement with the University of Perpetual Help System (UPHS) in Molino, Cavite officially recognizing the campus as a Knowledge, Innovation, Science and Technology (KIST) special economic zone institute.

The university is the first private higher education institution to be recognized as a KIST ecozone, PEZA said in a statement Wednesday. KIST parks and institutes provide training that address industry workforce requirements.

UPHS is building an AltaHub innovation institute, which will work on health, business, and technology programs.

“AltaHub shall become the bridge between the educational institution and the needs of various industries in the country as they will serve as a research and development facility not only for the University but also for the neighboring towns and areas,” PEZA said. 

The investment promotion agency plans to build training centers in public ecozones or KIST parks in every region.

“The Philippine Economic Zone Authority made the best choice in tapping UPHS as its partner for the promotion and creation of Philippine startup ecozones that support organizations aiming to develop an innovative product, process or business including startup enablers,” Bacoor City Mayor Lani M. Revilla said.

PEZA said last year that it plans to develop a skills training and research institute at its first university special economic zone park at Batangas State University.

As a KIST Park, the university plans to partner with foreign schools to offer programs training the workforce. — Jenina P. Ibañez