By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
In partnership with the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU), the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has launched its first ever Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Institute at Batac City, Laoag, Ilocos Norte last January 23.
PEZA and MMSU have sealed the deal with a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed following the soft inauguration of the university’s new National Bioenergy Research and Innovation Center (NBERIC) Building. The infrastructure will house the SEZ Institute office as well as bureaus of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Negosyo Center and SSF.
“The SEZ Institute aims to provide skills training, research, etc. based on the industry identified in the region and be partner with SUCs with competence to transform every Filipino worker into multi-skilled, world class, and rich human capital, addressing one of the efficiency factors investor are looking for,” explained PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza.
According to the PEZA Chief, “the agreement is the first step to involve SUCs in attracting investors to the Philippines and addressing some of the efficiency factors investors are looking for.”
Plaza also invited the LGUs to “make use of their idle lands and create economic zones in their area, bringing economic development to the countryside, as aimed by Administrative Order No. 18 signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.”
Furthermore, the PEZA Chief encouraged MMSU to “apply as a Knowledge, Innovation, Science, and Technology (KIST) park under PEZA, which will allow them to partner with foreign universities and offer similar programs.” She added that “this will make MMSU attractive not only to Filipinos but also to foreigners.”