Maharlika in talks to develop three ecozones

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By Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson, Reporter

THE Maharlika Investment Corp. (MIC) is in talks to support the development of three economic zones (ecozones) in Luzon and Mindanao.

“I’m in active discussions with (three) government agencies in relation to their respective properties. The aim is for us to develop them into (economic zones),” Maharlika Chief Executive Officer and President Rafael D. Consing, Jr. told BusinessWorld.

These include an industrial ecozone north of Luzon, a medium-sized agri-industrial ecozone south of Metro Manila, and another ecozone in Mindanao.

Mr. Consing said Maharlika is aiming to invite locators and mobilize the resources available in those areas.

“Whether those indigenous resources are labor or talent, the aim is, apart from being able to bring in locators, manufacturing facilities and manufacturing locators… to develop agricultural facilities around them and help solve our food security issues. That’s one of the main things.”

The MIC is planning to officially announce the ecozones by the third quarter.

In December, Mr. Consing first floated proposals to create “mega ecozones” on idle government land, alongside townships that will allow people to live where they work.

The MIC’s priority investment sectors are power, agroforestry, industry, urbanization, mineral processing, tourism, transportation and aviation.

Mr. Consing has said that Maharlika is working on determining how much investment it will allocate to each priority area, which he estimated at up to 15% per sector.

It is also discussing the possibility of creating sub-funds focusing on each priority sector, similar to banks’ model of a unit investment trust fund.

In July, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. signed into law Republic Act No. 11954, which created Maharlika, the Philippines’ first sovereign wealth fund.

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