Free Trade Zones

PEZA again accepts new investments in Metro Manila

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority said on Monday it would accept applications from investors planning to reopen businesses in accredited economic zones in Metro Manila.

PEZA officer in charge, Tereso Panga, said the agency would resume its function of accepting, evaluating and approving applications for investment in ecozones in Metro Manila after a three-day moratorium. year.

President Rodrigo Duterte issued Administrative Order No. 18 in June 2019 to encourage businesses to relocate to areas outside Metro Manila and expand economic activities in the countryside.

Panga said PEZA now expects a deluge of investment from IT process management companies in Metro Manila after the three-year moratorium.

“We can now process applications from IT-BPM companies that were previously considering locating their operations in Metro Manila. This means that investments in PEZA will increase again,” he said.

Panga said there was no need to amend AO 18, the measure responsible for the moratorium on the expansion of IT-BPM in Metro Manila.

“It has been replaced by CREATE [Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act] and its TRI [implementing rules and regulations]. Since it is the OP who promulgated the AO, it is better that they initiate the lifting [of the AO]said Panga.

AO 18 deprived PEZA of the power to accept, process or evaluate applications for the establishment of economic zones in Metro Manila until the moratorium is lifted to divert investment to the countryside .

Location companies, however, are free to establish operations in Metro Manila’s existing ecozones.

PEZA reiterated its role in creating special economic zones in the countryside and the importance of addressing efficiency factors that are needed to complete the supply chain and reduce the cost of doing business in the Philippines.

The development of economic zones falls under Level 1 of the CREATE Act which grants four years of income tax exemption plus 10 years of increased deduction and a special corporate tax rate.

PEZA said lifting the moratorium on geo-restrictions would create more jobs for the Filipino workforce.

PEZA manages more than 415 economic zones nationwide with approximately 4,665 location companies that directly employ 1.6 million workers.