Headlined in the recent news is the newly PEZA proclaimed Ecozone which is the Bacolod-Silay Ecozone and Technopark. Its a 38 hectare land around the Bacolod-Silay International Airport. It will be an addition to the existing 19 economic zones around Bacolod City, and this will be the first one to be a mix-used.
What is a Special Economic Zone (SEZ)?
A special economic zone is an area in which business and trade laws are different from the rest of the country (Wikipedia). The main purpose of an SEZ is to attract direct foreign investment thru tax exemption and others.
Reasons why knowing why it matters:
1. Generation of Employment.
Companies that will thrive in SEZ will surely need technically skilled and competent employees. Fortunately, universities and colleges in the island produce these graduates. Therefore, its presence will bridge the gap between opportunity and skills. Therefore, there will no longer be a need to employ in the neighboring provinces nor the need to spend on rent. Plus, it’ll make you live closer to your family.
2. A new growth area for commercial, banking, school institution and others.
Companies located on the SEZ will transact money, they will have hundreds to thousands of employees on shifting time to Eat, Shop or just withdraw their hard earned money on the ATM or banks. So this will provide SMEs an opportunity to gain something as well.
3. Better road and infrastructure networks.
To attract companies, SEZ, government, Telcos and other agencies must establish a good road network for ease of transportation of the goods and assure better and stable internet connection for greater transaction efficiency. The good thing is, Bacolod-Silay Ecozone and Technopark have a well-established road network, aside from accessibility to the airport which makes the In/Out of goods seamless.The newly built airport road and its expansion to Victorias City plus the under-construction new Bacolod circumferential road will play a major advantage.
4. Promotion of goods and services.
Companies inside the SEZ will need raw materials for their products.Here comes the opportunity to supply locally sourced raw materials to these companies or special services like construction, logistics, and others. The sky is the limit on these opportunities.
The list goes on but for obvious reasons, these are the top benefits that the island will reap from the presence of an economic zone. Quite a promising opportunity and exciting time, yes? The sooner it will materialize the better as it will be a game changer for the Negros Island’s economy.
The bigger question is, how can Negros Island attract companies?
Well, this should be a very straightforward answer. SEZ, Government, Local Government Agencies, Chamber of Commerce, Schools, Telcos and other bodies must work closely and plan this thoroughly.
- SEZ management must conceptualize together with the local government on how to regulate processes for the investors. Ease of business transactions and applications must be seamless.
- Schools must offer new curriculums and produce more competent students for a stable pool of talents to supply to these companies.
- Telcos must upgrade the internet backbone in this area and plan the network infrastructures ahead.
In a short, they must work closely with a long term perspective in mind, so these can be realize and be sustainable.
We Negrenses should show our support since this will be a big help to our island’s economy, directly or indirectly. The monocrop industry that was once the main source of income of Negros Island must become diverse to have a sustainable and develop Negros Island.