Landbank asked to open lending facility for ecozone development
By Roy Stephen C. Canivel
Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 5, 2018 at 5:08 am

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) is in talks with Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) to open up credit facilities for economic zone development, a top official said.

Peza Director General Charito Plaza said the pitch involved opening up credit facilities for local government units (LGUs), private landowners and national agencies that intended to put up economic zones.

In an interview last week, Plaza said that details of arrangement would still have to be fleshed out. In essence, the lending facility would provide stakeholders with the initial push needed to develop ecozones, such as help in building main roads.

“We gave them a briefing and we suggested that they should start opening credit facilities for LGUs, private landowners and national agencies managing public lands on ecozone development,” she said.

This would help Peza in growing its investment registration, especially since economic zone development has been a main driver of growth recently.

Apart from this proposed partnership with Landbank, Peza is also looking at convincing other government agencies to make their idle lands available for development.

This includes a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), which she said had “five million hectares of land that is idle.”

“We have a MOA. The next stage is conducting a dialogue with the tribes and landowners, making them understand on how good it would be to make their lands into economic zones where they would earn [more],” she said.

Pledges to develop economic zones have recently accounted for the bulk of the investment commitments registered by Peza.

The agency closed 2017 with P237.57 billion worth of pledges, an 8.89-percent improvement from the previous year’s P218.18 billion.

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