News Release

Palace grants lifeline for Metro Manila Economic Zone Applicants with AO No. 11 for more MM jobs

To bolster employment opportunities in the National Capital Region and surrounding areas, Malacanang has issued an administrative order amending the provisions of Sections 2 and 3 of AO No. 18 series of 2019, granting a second chance for applicants for economic zones within Metro Manila.

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin signed AO No. 11 on November 24, amending Administrative Order No. 18 by allowing the processing and evaluation of applications for the establishment of special economic zones in the National Capital Region.

Under the Order, applications that had already obtained “Pre-Qualification Clearances” from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Board pursuant to the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 7916 prior to the moratorium’s effectivity under AO No. 18 shall be allowed to resubmit their application with certain conditions.

“Within a non-extendible period of ten (10) working days from the effectivity of this Order, the PEZA shall submit to the Office of the President (OP), through the Office of the Executive Secretary, a Board Resolution certifying the Masterlist of covered applications under the immediately preceding paragraph.

For this purpose, the PEZA shall submit, along with the said Board Resolution and Masterlist, certified true copies of the pertinent Pre-Qualification Clearances issued by the PEZA Board to the developers/proiect proponents concerned and the minutes of the meeting when the same were approved by the Board,” the AO stated.

“Only those included in the Masterlist shall have the option to resubmit their applications for ecozones, provided that they undergo anew the pre-qualification process of the PEZA pursuant to the IRR of RA No. 7916. For this purpose, all required national or local licenses, clearances, permits, certifications or authorizations that have already expired shall have to be renewed in accordance with pertinent laws, rules and regulations.”

The order also clarified that inclusion in the Masterlist or the acceptance, processing, and/or evaluation of applications by PEZA and the OP does not guarantee approval or proclamation as economic zones.

Other provisions of AO No. 18 shall also remain in effect, including the moratorium on the processing of applications for the establishment of economic zones in Metro Manila.

In issuing the AO, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said allowing the processing and evaluation of applications for ecozones in Metro Manila which secured PEZA Pre-Qualification Clearance prior to the implementation of the moratorium under AO No. 18 will have a positive impact on job creation and will further strengthen Metro Manila’s position as a leading information and communications technology hub in the country.

According to recent assessment, the services sector, which includes information and communications, continues to be a reliable source of economic activity in the country, with Metro Manila registering the biggest share.

The Marcos administration’s 8-Point Socioeconomic agenda aims to bolster employment opportunities for the Filipino people through the promotion of investments that boost productivity. PND