PEZA urges Pangasinan to establish economic zones

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has urged the local government units (LGUs) in the province to identify and establish at least two economic zones in their respective towns and cities.

PEZA Director General Charito Plaza told city and municipal officials there was a need to establish economic zones to entice foreign and domestic investors to bring their industries to the localities.

Plaza was the guest of honor and speaker during the Pangasinan economic development meeting, also attended by provincial government officials headed by Governor Amado Espino III on Tuesday at the Pangasinan Training and Development Center.

In an interview, Plaza said a lot of investors are interested to invest in the Philippines because of its location, workforce and weather thus the LGUs should take advantage of these.

Plaza said there were some proclaimed economic zones in Sual, Mabini, Urdaneta City, Dasol, Umingan, San Jacinto and Dagupan City, among others, in the province.

However, she said her office is making everything official.

“So that the identification and planning for economic zones will emanate from the LGUs,” said Plaza.

She said PEZA will come up with an economic zone map of the whole country, which will be used by investors in establishing their businesses.

Director Nelson Rillon of the National Economic Development Authority Regional Office 1 confirmed the benefits of economic zones.

“It would help as far as encouraging the LGU to put more into the economic game as they now have the modality to take advantage of what they have as a comparative or even absolute advantage with the help of PEZA,” Rillon said.

Plaza further said one of the goals of PEZA is to spread development or investments, especially in the countryside, to prepare LGUs for the federal system of the government.

“Wherein, in the federal system of government, only 20 percent will go to the national government budget and 70 percent to 80 percent will be retained to the localities,” she said.

Meanwhile, Plaza said among the thriving industries in economic zones included manufacturing, refinery, medical tourism, agro-industrial, agro-forestry, information technology parks and centers, “which almost all are feasible in the province”.

“I am inviting the leaders here to visit PEZA, so we could discuss more about how to identify and establish economic zones and we will give them a tour of some economic zone areas,” Plaza said.  Hilda Austria/