PEZA plans COVID-19 test facilities in ecozones

Published May 21, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Bernie Cahiles- Magkilat

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), which administers the tax incentives for export-oriented enterprises, is planning to establish four COVID-19 testing facilities in public economic zones to protect its 1.6 million-strong workers.

PEZA Director-General Charito B. Plaza
PEZA Director-General Charito B. Plaza

PEZA Director General Charito “Ching” Plaza said the planned testing facilities would be located in its four ecozones – Baguio City Economic Zone, Pampanga Economic Zone, Cavite Economic Zone, and Mactan Economic Zone – to cater to their own workers.

Plaza revealed this plan as majority or 60 percent of the 4,542 firms located in its 408 economic zones in the country have resumed operations with all of its 1.6 million workers declared COVID-free.

“We are currently coordinating with the Department of Health (DOH) for this program. We plan to provide both the rapid test kits and the PCR test on the said facilities so that the companies will have a choice on either of the methods,” noted the PEZA chief, adding the facilities would be provided by a private company accredited by DOH.

PEZA will likewise construct dormitories/housing facilities in its four public ecozones and have its own shuttle services for use by the locators.

“This will not only be used for emergencies but, in coping with the locators’ losses during the crisis. We are encouraging the private ecozone operators to do the same to ensure investors of a safe and secured Philippine ecozones,” said Plaza.

Plaza said companies were allowed to operate on the condition that they comply with the directives by PEZA and the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

“PEZA is now very much ready for a full blast operation of its ecozones and companies,” said Plaza.
Since the start of this crisis, Plaza said they implemented health and welfare protocols of its workers and assisted the continuous operations of its ecozones and export companies.