PEZA eyes potential sites away from 'danger zones' like Taal Volcano: official


Posted at Mar 10 2021 11:51 AM | Updated as of Mar 10 2021 12:05 PM

PEZA eyes potential sites away from 'danger zones' like Taal Volcano: official 1
Men ride their fishing boat in Agoncillo, Batangas on July 5, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The Philippine Economic Zone Authority is looking for potential ecozone sites that are "further away" from what are considered "danger zones" such as the Taal Volcano, its director general said Wednesday.

New ecozone applications are now "required" to get certification from Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) and other disaster agencies, PEZA director general Charito Plaza told ANC. 

Existing locators near danger zones are also "encouraged" to look for safer sites, she said. 

"We are now identifying potential ecozones which are much further away from danger zones. We are ready for that," Plaza said.

Viable options include Quezon, Laguna, Cavite and other regions, she said. 

"Existing zones who are nearer are also asked to prepare for possible transfer. As long as they can already look for other area, we encourage the developers to immediately look forward, prepare," Plaza said. 

This, after Phivolcs raised the Taal Volcano warning to Alert Level 2 due to increased unrest.

Currently, PEZA sites in Batangas are still "safe" and are preparing if, in case, the Taal Volcano situation worsens, she said. 

The active volcano, which erupted in early 2020, displaced thousands of residents. Millions of pesos were also lost in CALABARZON and nearby provinces in terms of livelihood as ashfall shuttered businesses. 

Plaza also said no companies have left during the pandemic and that some smaller companies were just consolidated into their affiliate firms.

PEZA was able to protect the health and the jobs of 1.6 million Filipinos directly working in ecozones. 

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