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PEZA board approves pharma ecozone for Tarlac; Palace proclamation pending 

THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said that its board approved a pharmaceutical economic zone in Victoria, Tarlac, which is currently awaiting Presidential proclamation.

PEZA Director General Tereso O. Panga identified the project as the 29.57-hectare Victoria Industrial Park, Inc.

“It is worth mentioning that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also intends to put up a laboratory in Tarlac,” Mr. Panga said.

“As such, the establishment of a pharma zone in Victoria, Tarlac, would enable us to better synergize infrastructure and logistical requirements as well as the activities of the locator companies,” he added.

FDA Director-General Samuel A. Zacate said on Monday that the FDA had proposed that the laboratory be located in the economic zone.

“We suggested to PEZA that if we want an efficient pharma zone, we need to choose an area (that will rule out the need for the FDA) to build another laboratory,” Mr. Zacate told BusinessWorld.

“Of course, the mandate for deciding the location is still with PEZA. It is applying right now, and I think the papers are already in Malacañang; PEZA is just waiting for the Presidential proclamation declaring it an economic zone,” he added.

Mr. Panga said that the Tarlac site will pioneer the clustering of pharma-related industries like clinical trials, blood and plasma extraction, and pharmaceutical product and medical device manufacturing.

“But this does not preclude us from putting up or registering pharma zones elsewhere in the country as long as they comply with the minimum requirements. Likewise, PEZA’s existing ecozones are ready to host locator companies,” he said.

Mr. Panga has said that the investment promotion agency is also in talks with ecozone developers for pharma zones in Bulacan and Laguna.

“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,” he said.

PEZA has registered 26 pharma- or medical-related locator companies within PEZA zones, accounting for P25.49 billion in investments.

Among the top companies in PEZA engaged in pharma and medical devices are Terumo (Philippines) Corp., Arkray Industry, Inc., Royale Life Pharma, Inc., JMS Healthcare Phl, Inc., and Philipcare Medical Manufacturing, Inc. — Justine Irish D. Tabile