Ching Plaza Still Heads PEZA

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PEZA Director General Charito Plaza Photo source: Philippine News Agency

By Tracy Cabrera

PASAY CITY

Brig. Gen. Charito B. Plaza returns to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) as the Director General up to the end of the year until a permanent replacement has been designated.

This was announced by Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez based on a memorandum signed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

The supplement to Memorandum Circular  No. 1 and 3, dated July 28, 2022, terms of certain government officials and employees ensures continued and effective delivery of government services, said Rodriguez.

“All OICS of departments, agencies, bureau and office, non-career executive service (CES) officials occupying CES positions and contractual or casual employees covered herein shall continue to perform their duties and discharge their functions until 31 December 2022 or until a replacement has been appointed or designated, whichever comes first,” as stated in the memo.

These officers and employees are deemed co-terminus with the president.

The memo added that they are expected and “mandated to lawfully perform their duties and functions, and submit bi-monthly performance reports to their respective heads of the department, agency, bureau, office, or instrumentality, otherwise, they will be held accountable.”

Not Applicable

Elated to be back, Plaza said, “Under the MC Nos. 1 and 3 declaring certain positions vacant and provided for the rules to address the vacancies, does not apply to government owned or controlled operations (GOCCS), government instrumentalities with corporate powers, government corporate entities, and government financial institutions.”

“PEZA is a government instrumentality with corporate powers and since MC No. 1 does not apply to PEZA, the positions of the Director General is not declared vacant. The sitting DG will stay on a hold-over capacity until 31 December 2022 or until a replacement has been appointed whichever comes first,” she added.

Remaining as PEZA director general, Plaza stressed, however, that she will “continue the Agency’s projects and initiatives that started during her term under former President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.”

Among these programs Plaza has established are the PEZA Transformation Road Map (TRM), the Global Biz with PEZA, the creation of new types of economic zones, The Development Outreach for Labor, Livelihood, and Advancement of Resources (DOLLAR) Program, and the Ka-PIPPS Program.

Under her leadership, PEZA was able to generate a total of P807.8-billion worth of investments from 2,462 projects and USD$300.6 billion of exports. There is a total of 105 economic zones presently.

Early this year, Capital Finance International (CFI.co) awarded PEZA the Best Economic Zone Promotion in Southeast Asia 2022. CFI.co acknowledged that “PEZA acts as a catalyst for sustainable development in the Philippines, focusing on manufacturing, tourism, and industrial exporters as land and building developers. It provides a complete service to investors, assisting with business registration, tax incentives, and operational support.”

To date, there has been no official designation of an OIC of PEZA by the Department of Trade and Industry Secretary nor any designation from a higher officer.

Plaza said she has not been officially ordered to turnover her post and, therefore, stays as PEZA director general.

 

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