January 6, 2017
Pimentel lauds PEZA efforts to attract investors
Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III today lauded the Philippine Economic Zone Authority as one of fastest-growing agencies under its new director general Charito "Ching" Plaza, a former lawmaker from Butuan City who was one of the authors of the Special Economic Zones law that created PEZA.
"Her leadership of PEZA is laudable," said Pimentel, expressing unqualified support for Plaza, a senior official of the administration party PDP-Lakas ng Bayan which the Senate chief heads.
"She has pledged to bring in foreign investments and generate jobs in the countryside," added Pimentel.
He also lauded Plaza for keeping the integrity and credibility of PEZA, untainted by corruption as a government business enterprise.
PEZA is an agency attached to the Department of Trade and tasked to promote investments, extend assistance, register, grant incentives to and facilitate the business operations of investors in export-oriented manufacturing and service facilities inside selected areas throughout the country proclaimed as PEZA Special Economic Zones.
After being appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte last September, Plaza proposed to make the economic zones the "umbrella program" for economic development and industrial growth especially in Mindanao.
She said the economic zones could be the anchor in the planned revival of the BIMP-EAGA partnerships with Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines as growth areas in East Asia for foreign investments and job creation.
"The regions' unemployed and underemployed would be the final beneficiaries of this," Plaza said when she assumed her post.
Pimentel said he would look into the operation of economic zones and Freeport zones and determine if amendments to their charters are needed because of compelling developments in global business.
He said he would also review the operations of other agencies that have been subjected to changes only by presidential orders and not through congressional amendments, citing the case of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) where the post of chairman/administrator was split in two.
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