The Philippine Economic Zone Authority said Thursday all economic zones should comply with the government requirement to locate away from disaster-prone areas.
“We assure our industry-locators and investors [that we] are strict in the enforcement of the geo-hazard laws and the environmental clearance certificate compliance by the ecozone developers, factories, utilities and facilities construction applicants,” said PEZA director-general Charito Plaza.
She made the comment amid the Taal Volcano eruption that affected the CALABARZON region which hosts large ecozones.
Plaza said Lima Technology Center and the First Philippine Industrial Park, both located in Batangas, reported no damage or major disruption to operations and structures so far, aside from the problem brought by ashfall from Taal Volcano.
“Locators now have to craft their business continuity plans that should outline how they plan to do business in the face of the volcano’s ongoing activity. Moreover, PEZA management and concerned zone managers in Luzon are coordinating accordingly with locator companies about the condition of affected workers who reside in affected areas of the Taal volcanic activities,” she said.
Plaza assured investors that business sentiment in the Southern Tagalog region remained positive with the developers’ compliance with government requirements for calamity safety, including the environmental compliance certificate issued by the Environment Department.
She said PEZA was doing its own plans to ensure the safety of private and public ecozones such as those in Mactan, Cavite, Baguio and Angeles City.
PEZA signed an agreement with the UP School of Urban and Regional Planning to re-masterplan and redesign its four public ecozones.
Plaza said the public zones would serve “as the models of PEZA’s new concept in recreating the once purely factories/industry parks into building eco-towns and eco-cities, with industrial, commercial and residential areas.”
The agency would also launch the Philippine ecozones map which contains information including efficiency factors that potential investors need to know.
PEZA oversees 60 economic zones, 59 of which were privately developed and one―the Cavite Economic Zone―was developed by the government.
Private ecozones in Region IV span 3,921.1175 hectares and fall under different classifications such as agro-industrial, IT centers, IT parks, manufacturing, medical tourism and tourism ecozones.