The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is urging micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with lands and facilities to register their assets as economic zones.
PEZA director general Charito B. Plaza in a recent forum called upon MSMEs and local businesses to register their lands and facilities as PEZA ecozones and become ecozone developers and local partners of foreign investors.
The PEZA chief said MSMEs should adopt the idea of “think global, act local” and become local partners that “can help complete the local supply chain as our economic zone developers. They can even register their lands and enterprises as PEZA-registered ecozones.”
She also appealed to MSMEs to forge stronger ties with business chambers, as this can lead to more robust investments in the country.
Plaza emphasized that amidst the ongoing pandemic, “we must remain competitive and productive in promoting local investment opportunities that our country can offer to potential investors.”
On the potential areas for investment in South Luzon, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Region 4 governor Sallie C. Lacson said at the same event that the CALABARZON region hosts many of the big names in the electronics and semiconductor industries, such as Panasonic, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Samsung, Epson, and Sony.
PEZA said that as of March 2021, it manages a total of 61 economic zones with about 2,000 locator companies in CALABARZON, with Laguna having the highest number of locators, followed by Cavite and Batangas.
Lacson noted that most of the ecozones in Region 4 are newly built, which can provide areas for economic-related activities, especially manufacturing, electronics, automotive, food processing, pharmaceuticals, and consumer products.
“With the establishment of new roads, highways, and bridges [in South Luzon], ecozones can benefit [from] shorter delivery routes of raw materials from ports to industrial facilities,” she added.
Meanwhile, for the Mindanao region, Bangon Marawi Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Elian Macala expressed his wish to see banking, logistics, agricultural, and manufacturing companies locate and operate in Marawi City for socioeconomic recovery.
“My fellow Maranaos are still recuperating from the siege in 2017 [and the effects of the COVID-19]; hence, we need the assistance of the national government and private sectors to help us rebuild Marawi and invest in our city, which will also establish malls and other halal food chains,” Macala said.
PEZA deputy director general for policy and planning Tereso O. Panga said local investors can avail of PEZA fiscal incentives such as initially enjoying the four to seven years of income tax holiday (ITH), with tier classification after the ITH period. After this period, they can enjoy an additional five years of enhanced deductions.
“LGUs also play a critical role in providing additional incentives and helping PEZA create a conducive business environment. Magtulungan po tayo [Let’s help one another],” added Panga.
PCCI secretary general Ruben J. Pascual, meanwhile, commended PEZA for opening up investment opportunities to domestic enterprises, adding he sees many ways that PEZA can be assisted in promoting local investors and ecozone developers to all the foreign chamber partners of PCCI.