MANILA, Philippines - Four of the country’s economic zones are undergoing expansion to accommodate new locators as the government is wooing firms to bring their investments here, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said.
PEZA director general Lilia de Lima told reporters in a chance interview that the First Philippine Industrial Park and LiMA Technology Center both in Batangas, the Laguna Technopark in Biñan, and Light Industry and Science Park are all undergoing expansion.
“The expansion is ongoing. They can see that the zones are being occupied and so they have to be prepared for the other companies coming,” she said.
She declined to give details on the expansion, such as the amount being spent.
All four economic zones undergoing expansion are hosts to manufacturing firms.
The expansion of the economic zones is being undertaken as the government continues to actively promote the country as a destination for investments.
Companies from Japan, Korea, Taiwan and even Europe, De Lima said, are looking at the Philippines as a possible location for their operations given the perks being offered such as income tax holidays, duty-free importation of raw materials as well as non-fiscal incentives.
She said the Philippines is also an attractive location for firms given the availability of human capital.
She noted that annually, over one million Filipinos reach the working age.
Filipino workers, she added, speak the English language and learn very fast, so it is easier to train them compared to those in other countries.
“They say it takes only two months to train Filipino workers compared to four to six months to train others in the region because we are English-speaking,” she said.
The government, she said, continues to engage with firms in other countries to encourage them to locate here, particularly for manufacturing and agro-industrial activities.
Manufacturing and agro-industrial activities are being pushed as these activities are seen to generate jobs.
According to the PEZA’s website, there are currently 270 operating economic zones in the country.