PEZA to build defense industrial economic zones before end of Duterte administration

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) intends to turn military reservation areas into defense industrial economic zones before the end of the current administration.

PEZA Director General Charito Plaza reiterated the plan to the newly-appointed commanding general of the Philippine Army, Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr., during the latter's visit to her office on Tuesday, March 16.

According to Plaza, the agency is hopeful to start building the first-ever Defense Industrial Complexes using the Army's reservation areas during Faustino's tenure.

"PEZA aims to establish different types of economic zones and spread development to the countryside based on the land potential of the region. This includes the proposed creation of Defense Industrial Complexes in the Philippines," Plaza told Faustino.

For his part, Faustino noted that he is already aware of the needs of the Army when it comes to modernization even after just one month since he assumed the position.

"With PEZA's expertise in promoting investments and facilitating business operations, the Philippine Army can easily determine the necessary actions to maximize the revenue potential of its military reservations to support its modernization program," Faustino said.

The commanding general emphasized that creating a Defense Industrial Complex on economic zones is in line with the Philippine Army transformation roadmap, which aims to pursue genuine transformation founded on good governance and excellence to better serve the Filipino people and secure the Philippines.

"The Philippine Army is privileged to have established a strong foundation of partnership with PEZA, (which) similarly aspires for the betterment not just of both organizations, but also for the whole country," Faustino added.

The Defense Industrial Complex, PEZA explained, refers to a tract of land with defined boundaries located physically and/or administratively outside the customs territory and predominantly oriented to export production.

This is expected to produce world-class defense products to meet both domestic and world market requirements that will maximize the utilization of economic zones and generate maximum revenues for the government.

It is seen to support the modernization program as well as create employment opportunities in the Philippines, particularly in and around the complex.