PEZA announces new ecozone projects
The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), under the Duterte administration, recently announced new projects for actively operating Economic Zones (Ecozones) in the Philippines. PEZA Director General Charito Plaza invites private companies to take part in these ecozone projects.
The projects include a total of 10 new programs focused on exploring “new frontiers in ecozone development” to revolutionize PEZA by introducing highly-developed metropolitan areas inside ecozones in the country.
Aside from the development of residential spaces in ecozones, Plaza stresses PEZA’s campaign to invite hotels, resorts, and other tourism infrastructures to register as a Tourism Economic Zone (TEZ).
Hotel and resorts urged to register as TEZ
Plaza advises hotel and resort operators in Cebu to register their properties as TEZs to help counter the increase in operational costs. This will grant them with attractive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to help improve their tourism investments over time.
During the tourism forum hosted by WOW PILIPINAS party-list last week, Plaza met with tourism stakeholders and members of the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu Inc. (HRRAC) to discuss the perks offered to PEZA-registered enterprises.
Aside from managing more PEZA-registered entities in the tourism sector, Plaza aims to boost the country’s tourism industry. She wants to see hotel and resort operators in Cebu registered with PEZA to further promote the city’s tourism infrastructure for local and foreign tourists.
Hotels or restaurants inside a TEZ can avail the same fiscal incentives enjoyed by economic zone locators. TEZ Developers and Operators receive special 5% tax on gross income and exemption from national and local taxes (excluding real property tax on the land owned by the TEZ developer), Value-Added Taxes (VAT) zero rating of local purchases, and exemption from expanded withholding taxes.
Ecozone operators advised to develop commercial and residential areas
Besides launching programs to help improve the country’s tourism economy, PEZA also requires ecozone developers to utilize an integrated development concept to provide designated areas for commercial and residential areas inside ecozones.
PEZA plans to introduce the development concept to build eco-industrial parks able to support inhabitable “smart and green” areas called townships. According to Plaza, a township is where ecozone developers can build “future smart towns or digital cities” to create new metropolitan areas per region.
“Integrated ecozones is already a requirement for applicants on ecozone development and existing ecozone will be transformed to this integrated ecozone concept towards building townships,” said Plaza.
The agency plans to implement the integrated ecozone concept on special economic zones located in Rosario, Cavite; Baguio; Mactan, Cebu; and Bataan. However, PEZA authorities are currently evaluating if these ecozones have commercial and residential spaces within them.