By Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star)
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) plans to embark on an aggressive expansion of public economic zones across the country in which some will be offered “rent-free” to entice more foreign companies to set up shop in the Philippines.
PEZA Director General Charito Plaza said, the agency is looking at building two new public economic zones per region, or a total of 36 across the country.
Public economic zones refer to economic zones owned and operated by PEZA.
“We are planning a massive economic zone expansion. We should build more economic zones, especially public economic zones because that is where bulk of our income (in PEZA) will come from. In private economic zones, what goes to us is 10 percent administrative fee plus the import and export permit. The rent of the industries go to the private developers. But if we have more public economic zones, the rent is ours,” Plaza said.
PEZA currently administers 366 economic zones across the country, 74 of which are manufacturing zones, 250 are IT parks, 21 are agro-industrial zones, 19 are tourism zones, and two are medical tourism parks.
Of these economic zones, only four are owned by PEZA while the rest are from the private sector. The public economic zones are in Cavite, Mactan, Baguio, and Pampanga.
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According to Plaza, she is considering to give potential locators in these new public ecozones a 10-year, rent-free privilege.
“We’re looking into rent-free because we;re trying to benchmark by learning what the successful economic zones are doing. Successful economic zones include China, Japan, Vietnam and that is their attraction. For 10 years, they offered free use of the land so their public ecozones are rent-free,” she said.
At present, Plaza said rental rates across its four public economic zones are from P19 to P27 per square meter per month. This is compared to an estimated $5 per sqm month rental rate for private ecozones.
The PEZA Chief said the push towards creation of more public economic zones across the country is a way to spur growth in the countryside.
“I’m more particular in job creation and development of the countryside, development and productivity of our lands,” Plaza said.
For more information, go to http://www.peza.gov.ph/.