THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said it encourages micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to register their land and facilities as economic zones.

PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza said MSMEs that register can participate in the supply chain of ecozone locators and become partners of foreign investors.  

“Products and services produced in the Philippines are world-class (but) we must remain competitive and productive in promoting local investment opportunities that our country can offer,” Ms. Plaza said in a statement Tuesday.  

Sallie C. Lacson, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry South Luzon regional governor, said there are potential areas for investment in the Calabarzon region (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon).  

Ms. Lacson said most ecozones in Calabarzon are new and are suitable for companies engaged in manufacturing, electronics, automotive industries, food processing, pharmaceuticals, and consumer products.

“As the urban gateway corridor for industrialization, Calabarzon region hosts the big names in electronics and semiconductor industries such as Panasonic, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Samsung, Epson, and Sony, among others,” Ms. Lacson said.  

“With the establishment of new roads, highways, and bridges (in South Luzon), ecozones can benefit from this via shorter delivery routes of raw materials from ports to industrial facilities,” she added.

According to PEZA, there were 61 ecozones in Calabarzon as of March. Laguna has the most locators of any province with 2,022.

Elian Macala, Bangon Marawi Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, said banking, logistics, agricultural, and manufacturing firms can opt to locate in Marawi City to help its recovery.  

“My fellow Maranaos are still recuperating from the siege in 2017 and the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic… we need the assistance of the national government and private sector to help rebuild Marawi,” Mr. Macala said, citing the potential of hall food enterprises and shopping malls.

Tereso O. Panga, PEZA deputy director general for Policy and Planning, touted fiscal incentives available to domestic investors, such as the four to seven-year income tax holiday  and the prospect of five more years of enhanced deductions.

PEZA has said that approved investments in the first 10 months declined 13.7%, which consisted of 215 projects worth P62.72 billion, which is down from the year earlier P72.64 billion. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave