PEZA workers can now apply as military reservists
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — Economic zones managed by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) may bring workers reasonably high salaries, safe working conditions and even a military rank.
Ecozones have become the latest recruitment ground for the Armed Forces of the Philippines as Peza officials have drawn up memorandums of agreement with some business firms for them to convince their workers to enlist as military reservists.
There are some 1.5 million workers in Peza zones.
Aspiring military reservists at Peza-controlled zones will be trained to handle rescue operations during calamities and terror attacks in their area, Peza Director General Charito Plaza, a brigadier general in the AFP reserve command, said.
They will also be equipped with marksmanship and other military skills “so they can defend themselves, their families, their workplace and their country,” Plaza said.
Reservists can get scholarships, while the companies they work for can get tax deductions for the uniforms and other equipment used by their workers during training, said Plaza, who graced the 40th anniversary of the Baguio City Economic Zone.
The recruits began their basic military training this month, with the first batch of ecozone reservists expected to complete their training on April 30.
Plaza also bared plans to rebrand Peza and build agro-industrial zones, steel and mineral processing zones to discourage the export of mineral ore, and a munitions zone where weapons could be manufactured.
Peza currently manages over 370 economic zones, most of them business process outsourcing companies.
Plaza said Peza would embark on a rebranding campaign to be launched on April 30, despite issues about the government’s comprehensive tax reform program.
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