MANILA -- Import disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic halted operations of 41 percent of companies in the Philippines' economic zones, its manager said Wednesday.
Half of raw materials used in economic zones are sourced from China, where the virus was first reported, Philippine Economic Zone Authority Director General Charito Plaza said.
Plaza said PEZA asked lawmakers for a "status quo" on incentives in economic zones which are "tried, tested and proven" to attract foreign investors.
Should the second tranche of tax reforms aimed at corporate taxes be passed, Plaza said it should first apply to domestic enterprises.
'Why should we remove the enthusiasm or interest of investors who are already here?" she said.
With strict health checks, PEZA remains COVID-free, Plaza said. The country has 405 economic zones, that is home to 4,553 companies and 1.6 million workers.
Workers in PEZA zones who show symptoms of the disease are told to get tested. Facilities are disinfected and workers are required to wear protective gear, she said.