By Marianne V. Go (The Philippine Star) Updated October 31, 2011 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said the potential buyer of the Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) complex should honor and recognize PEZA’s mandate and authority over the operations and administration of the 24-hectare FTI Special Economic Zone.
In a position paper, PEZA urged that whoever purchases the entire FTI property, including the ecozone “must continue to operate it as such and that there be no disruption in the operations of the PEZA-registered enterprises which are mostly export-oriented.”
The FTI-SEZ was proclaimed as an economic zone on May 17, 2004.
PEZA stressed that the sale of the property “should not adversely affect the status of the registered enterprises located therein insofar as entitlement to incentives is concerned. Otherwise, it will result in impairment of contracts between PEZA and the locators since PEZA can only grant incentives if these export enterprises are located inside a proclaimed economic zone.”
Furthermore, PEZA said the contracts of PEZA-registered locators within FTI “should likewise be honored, including PEZA’s exclusive administrative authority over the supervision and incentives administration of the PEZA-registered enterprises.
The FTI-SEZ currently has 10 export manufacturing enterprises; four logistics enterprises; one utilities enterprise and one facilities enterprise.
Since the Department of Agriculture wants to retain 34 hectares out of the 103 hectares to be privatized (which still includes the 24-hectare SEZ), PEZA indicated the possibility that part of the FTI complex could be proclaimed as an agro-industrial economic zone under PEZA.
However, the PEZA pointed out that only processing of agri and food products principally for export may be registered with incentives.
Two agro firms are currently operating within the FTI-SEZ. They are Agroasia Inc. which is an export enterprise engaged in the processing of raw spices, herbs and other food products intor dehydrated form, and Hi-Las Marketing Corp. which is also an export enterprise that produces fresh mangoes, frozen mango halves/diced, mango puree, dried mangoes and pineapples, papaya, melons and other tropical fruits for export.