Economic zones to provide jobs for those displaced by pandemic – Philippines

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The economic zones could truly provide jobs and means of livelihood for many residents reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic and other natural calamities such as the recent onslaught of super typhoon ‘’Odette,’’ Senator Imee Marcos on Monday, January 11 said. Marcos, chairwoman of the Senate Economic Affairs committee, made this assessment as her committee conducted a public hearing on 10 bills seeking to establish 10 economic zones in the country.

She said her committee has been conscious of updating the bills and would include the amendments in the committee report to be able to comply with the controversial and well-debated incentive system consistent with the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act has put in place.

Marcos made this explanation after Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon said he has no objection to the proposed measures, but he wanted to know if they are consistent with the CREATE Act, adding that many of the bills were filed before the enactment of the law. “Are all these measures consistent with the CREATE bill and if not, is there an intention on the part of the committee and the committee chairperson to amend it so that it will conform to the provisions of the CEATE law?” Drilon asked.

Marcos stressed that “we have also seen… the flight of many big investors to our neighboring countries as we continue to be the laggard in so many of these FDIs (Foreign Direct Investments).” “We need a far more aggressive approach to entice investors and you can count on my support for these initiatives from the individual local government units, as well as representatives in the House of Representatives,” she said.

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