Rita Lohani

Rita Lohani

Through its proactive approach and focused mission, PEZA has had many achievements in promoting environmentally friendly economic zones. In the last five years, PEZA has helped streamline administrative processes related to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and other environmental compliance processes with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).

2005 Urban Fellow

Research Topic: Industrial Environmental Management

Faculty Advisor: Bradford Gentry

Institutionalizing Eco-Industrial Development Concepts for Philippine Economic Zones

The National Economic and Development Authority’s (NEDAs) economic and development strategy includes economic growth and reduction in unemployment by, among others, encouraging and enhancing private sector initiatives and labor-intensive production. In particular, the government of the Philippines (GOP) promotes the establishment of globally competitive economic zones all over the country to attract foreign investors who are export producers or service exporters of information technology. GOP and industry aim to continue economic growth within a framework of ecological balance, adopting the concept of eco-industrial development (EID).1
Eco-Industrial Development is a framework for environmentally-friendly development. In the specific case of industrial zones, companies within zones and estates can improve their economic performance while minimizing their environmental impacts, by working with each other and other members of its community. A better understanding of EID might also be traced to the dual meaning of ‘eco’ in the term ‘eco-industrial development’; ‘eco’ here refers to: (1) designing an industrial park/estate/zone based on its surrounding local and regional eco-system; and (2) developing an eco-industrial park/estate/zone that matches the resources and needs of its local and regional economy.
GOPs encouragement to the private sector to assume a more proactive role in industrial estate development has convened various groups within government and the private sector. The Philippine Ecozones Association (PHILEA) was organized in 1990 to develop well-planned world-class private industrial estates.2 From the government’s side, the “Special Economic Zone Act of 1995” lead to the establishment of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), an investment promotion agency and a government owned corporation, attached to the Department of Trade & Industry. PEZA grants fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to developers of economic zones, export producers, and I.T. service exporters.3 PEZA ensures that all the locators within the economic zones they manage practice environmentally friendly business practices.
This paper will briefly discuss the history and statues of industrial estates (IEs) in the Philippines, provide an overview eco-industrial development (EID) concepts and its implementation in Asia, and finally, highlight PEZA’s EID activities in the past and the agency’s roadmap until the year 2008.