PEZA Dir. General Charito Plaza with the locators belonging to the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI)

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines- The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is eyeing the transfer of locators at the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ) to the South Road Properties (SRP) in Cebu City.
No less than PEZA Director General Charito Plaza aired her preference for the transfer as the SRP is a good location and an ideal permanent site.
“Again I am telling you, prepare ahead because even if you will not go to SRP, there are many, many investors who want to expand. They might be the one who will go.
I am really also very interested because its a very good area. Even if you are not interested I can offer it to others,” Plaza told the MEZ locators who are mostly members of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI).
The consultation/forum called upon by Plaza at the MEZ social hall was also attended by the officers of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) led by Virgilio Espeleta. Plaza explained later that the announcement of relocating the MEZ 1 locators because of the proposed second runway of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) sent a “wrong message” since everything is not yet final.
“That is why our request, let us keep quiet about it. We might be sending the wrong message because it is not yet final,” Plaza told iNews.Ph, adding, “mangita gyud ug (we will really look for a) permanent site kay (since) because if we will insist forever that we will forever in the MCIAA site basin makuan gihapon (it might still change) because I know they will really expand their airport facilities.”
When informed that one locator has a lease contract that will expire in 2048, Plaza said she will look into it as PEZA merely wants to render service to their locators.
MCIAA Gen. Manager Steve Dicdican earlier said that the second runway is part of the 50-year master plan of the airport and that the affected MEZ locators will be transferred to a new Special Economic Zone (SEZ) that will sit on an adjacent reclamation project which will also be built.
It is now pending with the National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordinating Committee (NEDA-ICC) with GMR Megawide as the holder of the Original Proponent Status.
Plaza for her part said that if there will be MEZ locators that will opt to transfer to SRP, the government will not lost anything because what will happen will just be the transfer of income and taxes to the local government unit concerned, from Lapulapu City to Cebu City.
“Nothing wrong because like the share of the LGU will be transferred to the city government, from Lapulapu it will go to Cebu.” Meanwhile, Plaza also assured the JCCI led by Masahiro Kosaka that PEZA will lobby that the incentives that are given to PEZA locators will be in status quo despite the passage of the Corporate Income Tax and Incentive Rationalization Act (CITIRA) bill in the lower house.
Plaza will present her grounds to the senate today, September 24, calling it as her “hope” after the lower house has recently approved the bill. “Now our hope is in the senate because the senators are more, they are more statesmen I guess and I hope.
The senators don’t have a parochial interest, they look at things in a larger picture.” Formerly called TRABAHO bill, CITIRA seeks to gradually lower the corporate income tax (CIT)from the present 30 percent to 20 percent.
While the CIT is lowered, the bill if approved in its entirety will affect PEZA locators as it will remove most of the tax perks and other incentives that they are presently enjoying.
“Our appeal now to congress and the President is to retained our incentives because our incentives now are globally competitive” Plaza said. Plaza said that CITIRA should best apply to domestic enterprises and not to PEZA locators whom she said has contributed hugely to the nation’s economy./AAJ

PEZA Dir. Gen. Charito Plaza with the CCCI officers led by businesssman Virgilio “Nonoy” Espeleta