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News » Philippines to build new pharma eco-parks to boost drug access

Philippines to build new pharma eco-parks to boost drug access

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is looking to set up pharmaceutical industrial parks in the provinces of Bulacan and Laguna.

In an interview with BusinessWorld, PEZA Director General Tereso O. Panga disclosed that the agency is in talks with three developers regarding the construction of the pharma eco-parks. 

“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,” Panga said.

There are eight pharma-related firms in Bulacan, including Lloyd Laboratories, Pascual Laboratories, Lumar Pharmaceutical, Cargill Philippines, and Cosmetique Asia.

This initiative aligns with PEZA’s mandate of accelerating the development of new types of ecozones, including pharma industrial parks, under the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028. The ecozones are expected to increase accessibility to cheaper medicines across the archipelagic country. 

Under the Philipines’ Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law, investments in health-related activities can enjoy tax incentives for up to 12 years when registered with agencies like PEZA.

In May 2023, American healthcare services provider Optum pledged a PHP800 million (US$ 14.3 million) investment to the country’s medical business process outsourcing segment, which is expected to create some 1,500 jobs.

Optum’s service offerings to the country include healthcare information management services, including clinical, revenue cycle management, pharmacy services, and benefit management, among others.

As of 2023, PEZA hosts a total of 26 companies that manufacture pharmaceutical products and medical equipment or devices. This generates about PHP25.49 billion (US$455.2 million) of investments and more than 19,000 jobs.

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