Lapu to provide free Covid jabs to over 100K ecozone workers

·2 min read

THE Lapu-Lapu City Government has pledged to provide free Covid-19 vaccines to more than 100,000 employees in the three economic zones in the city, a top official of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) said.

According to Peza Director General Charito Plaza, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan promised to provide the vaccines for the economic and essential workers under priority group A4 during the inauguration of the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ) Admin Building on Monday, May 17,

2021.

“(The vaccines) are for all the workers in the three ecozones under Lapu-Lapu City including Peza employees. The locators are happy because it will save them money in buying the vaccines,” she said.

Plaza said there are about 102,000 employees in the MEZ 1, MEZ 2 and the Cebu Light Industrial Park.

Besides Lapu-Lapu City, Plaza said she will also encourage Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella and other local government units (LGUs) hosting ecozones in their cities to also provide free vaccines to ecozone workers.

Plaza said these locators and workers contribute to the increase in income of the LGUs.

“Our workers are the economic frontliners,” said Plaza, noting that if they get vaccinated business operations in the economic zones will no longer be disrupted.

Ecozone performance

Meanwhile, amid a stressed business environment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Peza remained confident of the country’s economic recovery as exports from economic zones grew 15.63 percent in the first quarter of this year. This translated to US$14.93 billion worth of exports from $12.91 billion in the same period last year.

Employment in ecozones also increased to 2.94 percent, which is equivalent to 1.58 million workers compared to 1.53 million workers a year ago.

The investments made in the first quarter of 2021 were also higher than last year with a 53.87 percent increase amounting to P25.382 billion with 57 Peza Board-approved projects generating a total of 5,601 jobs.

Among the 57 newly approved projects, 43 will be located in Luzon while 10 will be located in the Visayas, and four in Mindanao.

For the 57 projects of registered business enterprises, 22 are for export projects, 15 are for information technology (IT) projects, seven are for facilities, three for logistics, and one for utilities and one tourism enterprise. Meanwhile, the other eight are for ecozone development projects, which sum up to 57 projects in total.

Peza also reported that despite the modified enhanced community quarantine from April 12 to 16, 2021, Peza zones reported that 90 percent or 2,701 companies were operating nationwide with 1.193 million employees both working in skeletal force and work-from-home arrangements.

The manufacturing sector was 94 percent operational while the IT-business process management industry was 84 percent operational. / JOB