Pasay City – Gearing towards a new administration that highlights economic recovery, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Charito B. Plaza said on Wednesday that the Agency is aggressively continuing to attract global investors to its environment-friendly economic zones.
PEZA Chief Plaza said, “PEZA continues to be the biggest investment promotion agency contributing 80% of export service income from its IT-BPO companies and 64% of the export income of commodities and goods from its industries into semi-conductors, electronics, manufacturing, assembly, processing, refinery, and others into tourism, medical tourism, and agro-industries.”
Likewise, the Authority contributes 15 to 18% of the country’s GDP and is among the highest in remitting dividends to the National Treasury.
According to PEZA Director General Plaza, “At the height of the pandemic that started in 2020, PEZA implemented various “balancing acts” and despite the challenges, PEZA’s 417 ecozones and 3,557 registered industries maintained their operations, while protecting their health and the jobs of more than 1.7 M direct workers which enabled us and the national government in keeping the economy afloat while the domestic enterprises were locked down.”
Trust and confidence of investors
“PEZA also continues to enjoy the trust and confidence of its investor-locators, ecozone developers, industry associations, and the local and foreign chambers,” said Plaza.
For one, the President of Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines (SEIPI) Dr. Danilo Lachica stated that “the most significant ‘feel good’ memory I have of our SEIPI partnership with PEZA and other government agencies was to be able to convince the corporate management of Texas Instruments to locate their USD $1 Billion advanced manufacturing factory in the Philippines, instead of in a bigger Asian country.
This was seconded by the Confederation of Wearable Exported of the Philippines (CONWEP) which shared, “PEZA moved heaven and earth to ensure that the export manufacturing was able to operate at the height [of the pandemic], specifically during the lockdown period in 2020. Kudos to Director General Charito Plaza and her team who were hands-on to the needs of all locators, be it a logistic concern – moving people and goods to and from the zones, or coordinating with the different LGUs to allow our factories to operate.”
Appreciation for PEZA’s support to WFH
Meanwhile, on the part of the IT-BPO sector, the I.T. & Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) recognizes PEZA’s support for the implementation of a hybrid working arrangement.
In a Facebook post last 27 April 2022, IBPAP stated, “Now that the 90% WFH has ended, applying a long-standing policy that dates back to pre-pandemic times, PEZA has enabled our sector to apply for 30% WFH by requesting Letters of Authority (LOA). With a LOA, IT-BPM players may continue to allow part of their workforce to WFH, particularly those who have greater difficulty returning to office.”
“It’s also of significant help that they are responsive in addressing the many issues RBEs are encountering while setting themselves up for 30% WFH until 12 September 2022,” IBPAP added.
PEZA Director General Plaza reiterated, “This hybrid work setup is until 12 September only, the declared end of the state of (the COVID-19) calamity by President Rodrigo Duterte. As such, a hybrid scheme must be institutionalized by the incoming Marcos administration as we need to harmonize our laws and policies on this matter.”
She also said, “PEZA’s work from home (WFH) scheme for its registered IT-BPOs and RBEs has been conceptualized even before the passage of Republic Act No. 11165 or the Telecommuting Act on 20 December 2018.”
Under the leadership of Charito B. Plaza, she is revolutionizing PEZA’s mission, functions, and roles in promoting investments, and creating jobs and livelihood. This also includes the transfer of technology, developing idle lands into special economic zones (SEZs), digitalizing the economy, building self-reliance, self-sustaining, resource-generating economy, and maximizing the production and manufacturing capability of the Filipinos to become a multi-knowledge, multi-skilled. and world-class workers.