Pasay City -With the Malacañang extending the authority of government officials from 31 July to 31 December 2022 or until a replacement has been designated. Brigadier General Charito Ching B. Plaza returns to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) as the Director General (DG).
This comes after Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez, under the authority of President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr., issued a supplement to Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 1. s. 2022, numbered MC No. 3 last 28 July 2022
By extending the term of office of government officials and employees covered by MC no. 1, MC No.3 emphasizes the continued and effective delivery of government services. MC no. 3 also ensures that no new contract, project, or disbursement of extraordinary funds is made by government agencies, bureaus, and offices until an official appointment is declared by President Marcos Jr.
Under the latest MC, “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.”
Further, MC no. 3 states that “all officials and employees covered by this Memorandum Circular are 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.”
Plaza as PEZA head
Elated to be back, Ching 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.”
Plaza also added, “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.”
With her stay as the PEZA Chief, Plaza highlighted 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.
Further, under her leadership, PEZA was able to generate a total of P807.8 Billion of investments from 2,462 projects and USD$ 300.6 Billion of exports. A total of 105 economic zones have also been proclaimed.
Recently, this April 2022 during her term, the Capital Finance International (CFI.co) awarded PEZA the Best Economic Zone Promotion in Southeast Asia 2022. According to CFI.co. 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. PEZA Chief Plaza lamented, “I have never officially ordered any turnover of my post and has never vacated my position as the Director General. I will continue performing the duties and functions of my office until my replacement has been appointed pursuant to the PEZA Charter.”