Bulacan, Laguna targeted for pharma ecozones

Bulacan, Laguna targeted for pharma ecozones

By Justine Irish D. Tabile, Reporter

THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said it is in talks with three economic zone (ecozone) developers to build pharmaceutical industrial parks in Bulacan and Laguna.

“We hope to roll out this new type of ecozone within the year with the proclamation of First Bulacan Industrial Park, which is adjacent to  the existing First Bulacan Industrial city…” PEZA Director General Tereso O. Panga told BusinessWorld via Viber.

Under the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, PEZA is tasked with accelerating the development of new types of ecozone, including pharma industrial parks.

In a statement on Friday, the investment promotion agency (IPA) said that it is yet to draft the guidelines for the registration of pharma zones under PEZA.

“We are coordinating with the Department of Health (DoH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Trade and Industry and the Philippine Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industries (PCPI) in the guidelines for the registration of pharma zones under PEZA,” Mr. Panga said.

“We will collaborate as well with the Office of the Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs (OSAPIEA) and PCPI for the needed support and assistance to be able to attract key players in the pharma industry and to complete the supply chain for drug manufacturing in the country,” he added.

According to PEZA, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. brought up the idea of establishing pharma zones to serve as one-stop shops for pharma-related investment in a meeting with the FDA.

“These pharma ecozones will, in the future, boost local supply as well as provide business and capability-building opportunities particularly for Filipino small and medium enterprises into manufacturing and tolling of drugs and food supplements,” Mr. Panga said.

Mr. Panga noted that domestic manufacturing is an eligible activity for registration with PEZA and other IPAs under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises law.

“Given the fiscal incentives available for domestic market enterprises, this should encourage both Filipino and foreign investors to engage for instance in the manufacturing of drugs and medical products to address the growing local demand for generic as well as affordable but quality medicines,” he said.

“As (establishing) pharma zones is a top priority now overseen by OSAPIEA Secretary Frederick D. Go, PEZA will vigorously promote this to achieve the goal of the President of making more affordable medicines available for Filipinos,” he added.

As of last year, PEZA hosts a total of 26 companies that manufacture pharmaceutical products and medical equipment or devices generating about P25.49 billion of investments and more than 19,000 direct jobs.