The Fiscal and Incentives Review Board (FIRB) dismissed the request of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to lift Administrative Order No. 18 or the moratorium on the declaration of economic zones in Metro Manila.
FIRB Chairperson and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez explained that the main goal of the moratorium is to complement existing strategies and policies on rural development.
They added that the 10 Point Socio-Economic Agenda of the Administration calls for the promotion and value chain development in rural areas to meet the demand of businesses and the private sector.
In its earlier appeal to lift the moratorium, PEZA said that the prohibition on the establishment of ecozones in the capital region has affected the local government units (LGUs) who have not yet hosted ecozones and worsened the city’s vacancy rate.
Dominguez claimed that AO No. 18 is consistent with the CREATE Law as it establishes a financial incentives program that is performance-based, time-bound, targeted, and transparent.
The FIRB stated that locator companies may still register with PEZA and commence operations in existing ecozones in Metro Manila. New ecozones may also still be established outside of Metro Manila.