MMSU-SEZI urges Region 1 LGUs to establish special ecozones

By Daniel P. Tapaoan, Jr. 


Representatives from various local government units (LGUs) in Region I convened in a virtual forum hosted by the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) today, January 13, to discuss the possible establishment of special ecozones (SEZ) within the region. 


The attendees from Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan were mentored in developing industries toward a globally competitive and export-oriented regional economy. 


University President Shirley C. Agrupis said this initiative by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority-MMSU-Special Economic Zone Institute (PEZA-MMSU-SEZI) signifies its zeal to partner with local governments “in transforming the institute’s strategic roadmap into reality.”


“As the MMSU-SEZI operates in full swing, we are committed to make our region flourish as a hub of immense development,” Dr. Agrupis said. 


She added that the institute has already set up its manpower development and organized various activities in support to the government’s Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) program.


The BP2 program aims to provide hope for a better future to Filipinos through equity in resources throughout the country that will boost countryside development. 


Meanwhile, Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew M. Manotoc thanked the MMSU-SEZI for its move to discuss possible collaboration with the LGUs, hoping that such endeavor will provide jobs and long-lasting positive impact for the Ilokanos.  


Moreover, BGen. Charito Plaza, PEZA's director general, urged the MMSU-SEZI to develop its Knowledge, Innovation, Science and Technology (KIST) Park to become more effective in attracting more investors to the province and in helping LGUs establish SEZ in their own localities as she discussed the department’s strategic development roadmap. 


Also, the dimensions of SEZ development planning, SEZ as pillar of social progress, and legal and logistical requirements in designing a SEZ development project were tackled. These topics were presented by Arch. Emmanuel D. Cortero, department manager of PEZA ecozone development; Atty. Allan P. Datahan, deputy zone administrator of Baguio City ecozone (BCEZ) and Cluster III ecozones; and Atty. Ross Vincent S. Sy, BCEZ’s OIC-economic zone administrator, respectively. 


Moreover, a workshop on the preparation of documents for application for the development of SEZI in localities will be conducted for the LGUs in the future.


Located at the MMSU’s Science and Technology Park, the SEZI is a big project of the PEZA that aims to promote investments throughout the country for export industries. 


The SEZI program is headed by Mr. Neilbert Jacky Gaviola Gajudo, executive assistant to the PEZA director general. (StratCom)