THE PHILIPPINE Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is seeking Malacañang’s approval for the creation of 13 economic zones (ecozones), which are expected to generate nearly P18 billion worth of investments.

“As of October 2022, the PEZA currently has 13 pending ecozones that we look forward to be proclaimed by the current administration. One is already endorsed to the Office of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., while 12 are endorsed to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI),” PEZA Officer-in-Charge Tereso O. Panga was quoted as saying in a statement on his Nov. 9 meeting with the Philippine Ecozones Associations (PHILEA).

Mr. Panga said the 13 pending ecozones are expected to bring in investments amounting to P17.92 billion. These proposed ecozones are all located outside of Metro Manila.

“In 2022, there will be an upturn as we have been getting big-ticket projects enough to recover and even surpass our 2019 [investment] levels,” Mr. Panga said. 

He said the Light Industry and Science Park, located in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, secured a deal for a data center with P3.4 billion in investments last month.

Mr. Panga added that another big-ticket investment is currently being discussed with Suntrust EcoTown Tanza in Cavite.

Meanwhile, Mr. Panga said the PEZA’s investment growth target for 2022 is achievable following “aggressive investment promotions.” 

“The 6-7% PEZA target for 2022 is attainable and we must also continuously work with other agencies to promote the creation of more ecozones, particularly in the countryside and new growth areas,” he said.

In October, PEZA said it approved P17.14 billion worth of investments in the third quarter, lower by 10.46% compared with P19.145 billion posted in the same period last year. — RMDO