BAGUIO CITY – The State-run Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and the local chief executives of Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay (BLISTT) recently signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the possible expansion of the Baguio City Economic Zone (BCEZ) and the establishment of economic zones in nearby Benguet towns.
Director-General Charito plaza represented the PEZA while Baguio City MAYOR Benjamin B. Magalong, La Trinidad Mayor Romeo K. Salda, Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan, Sablan Mayor Manuel Munar, Jr., Tuba Mayor Clarita Sal-ongan and Tublay Mayor Armando Lauro represented their local governments in the signing of the agreement which was done simultaneous with the 25th PEZA anniversary and the 41st BCEZ anniversary.
The agreement will serve as the commitment of the parties to facilitate the creation of new economic zones in viable areas in the different local governments and the creation of Special Economic Zone Institutes in the established economic zones and will also serve as the commitment of the parties in the transition of the BCEZ into an eco-friendly and sustainable economic zone.
Under the agreement, the parties agreed to cooperate in the formulation and development of policies that shall be beneficial to their mutual interest and enhance their respective mandates and purposes with a view of creating special economic zones in viable areas in their jurisdiction; provide the necessary inputs to fastrack the development of potential economic zones in the their areas and jointly craft guidelines for the investment promotion and registration of such economic zones; commit to extend cooperation and assistance leading to the establishment of special economic zone institute in the said places; cooperate in the formulation of policies which shall address the issue on informal settlers within the identified sites of the economic zones and jointly conduct capacity building activities to carry out the objectives of the agreement.
Further, the parties shall execute and enter into such appropriate contracts or agreements as may be necessary or required by existing rules and regulations to carry out the intent of the agreement.
According to the agreement, the parties shall keep, save and hold each other free and harmless from all liabilities, penalties, losses, damages, costs, expenses, causes of action, claims or judgements arising out of or by reason of any injury or liability caused by any person or persons from any cause or causes whatsoever relating to the observance and implementation of the agreement.
Section 2 of Republic Act (RA) 7916 as amended, it is PEZA’s mandate to provide jobs to the people, especially in the rural areas, increase their productivity and their individual income through the establishment of special economic zones in suitable and strategic locations in the country, and through measures that shall effectively attract legitimate and productive foreign investments.
Executive order No. 5, series of 2016 otherwise known as the Ambisyon Natin 2040 envisions a Philippines that is prosperous and predominantly middle-class society where no one is poor; where people will enjoy long and health lives, are smart and innovative, and living in a high trust society.
By Dexter A. See