Jul 082013

MANILA, Philippines – Boxing idol Manny Pacquiao has to submit his firm’s immediate plans for an industrial estate to be developed in South Cotabato to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) or the company could lose its permit to undertake work on the property.

PEZA director general Lilia De Lima told reporters in a chance interview yesterday the agency would ask the boxing icon’s company, Manny Pacquiao Heights Development Corp. (MPHDC), to provide its plan and submit the necessary documents to be able to undertake work on the economic zone in General Santos.

She said the move is being taken as the permit given to MPHDC to develop the economic zone in 2009 is only valid for five years.

“They can develop in tranches. The problem is, if there is no development in five years, we can cancel the permit,” she said.

Despite the approval of the permit to develop the economic zone in 2009, she said, the company has yet to submit the necessary documents to the PEZA to be able to begin work on the site.

MPHDC has expressed interest to install a 200-hectare special economic zone as part of a 400-hectare company-owned estate in General Santos.

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The project, which would involve the investment of P1.2 billion, is intended to be developed for medical tourism.

In order to start work on the project, Pacquiao’s firm would have to provide the PEZA an endorsement from the Department of Health and Department of Tourism for the project.

The project could enjoy incentives such as tax breaks.

Under the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 7916 or the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995, the development of the whole economic zone must be completed within a five year period, unless a longer period is allowed by the PEZA’s Board of Directors.

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