The Philippine Economic Zone Authority has approved a measure aimed at streamlining the process of proclaiming property developments as ecozones.
PEZA director general Tereso Panga said the PEZA board has approved Resolution No. 23-138, which seeks to simplify the ecozone proclamation process and facilitate business operations within the ecozones.
“As we are now beefing up our agency to continuously enhance our delivery of services and facilitate faster ecozone proclamations to provide ready-for-occupancy sites for our locators, it is high time for PEZA to amend its guidelines for a simplified application, proclamation, and registration process for new and expanding ecozone developer/operator projects,” Panga said.
The objective of this initiative is to encourage the establishment of more economic zones, particularly in rural areas. This will provide investors with a wider range of location options, increase investments, boost exports, and generate jobs.
However, this move may also raise concerns about the conversion of irrigated agricultural land into ecozones, potentially affecting farm production. The conversion of agricultural land into housing developments, in the absence of a national land use plan, has already severely impacted farming.
In the first half of 2023, the PEZA has approved eight big-ticket ecozone developments costing P33 billion, a 579% jump from the P4.86 billion approved a year ago. The biggest is a new manufacturing special economic zone in Medellin, Cebu.