THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has signed two memoranda of understanding (MOU) with the Benguet State University (BSU) and St. Louis University (SLU) to promote economic and academic advancement in the province.
The two universities, under the MOU, have agreed to partner with the PEZA for different approaches to fostering economic and academic improvement.
The BSU and PEZA partnership has the two cooperating on the establishment of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Institute, which would be the central body in the effort to study and promote programs and strategies for export-based investments in both Benguet itself and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) at large.
SEZ Institutes, developed by PEZA, are a new type of economic zone that serve as training centers in public economic zones or in partner state universities and colleges (SUCs) or private universities.
“It is really a great privilege to be signing this MoU with PEZA for the purpose of economic [and academic] development. This is now the beginning; therefore, it is important that we have the vision to have mutual cooperation and be agile in our actions. We must leave a legacy for the Benguet community and CAR,” BSU president Felipe Comila said.
Meanwhile, the partnership with SLU would formally recognize the contributions of SLU in the development and promotion of the CAR as an export-oriented regional economy, as well as provide expertise, technology, and skills in its degree programs to produce competitive workers capable of filling in the demand for such skills in various high-value industries such as the IT/BPO, manufacturing, refinery, tourism, agro-industrial, medical and pharmaceutical industries.
“The MoU signing with PEZA is a positive step as the timeliness of this joint endeavor has never been more favorable since we need the right push to recover and to return on track to accomplishing our respective institutional goals in the service of our people,” said SLU president Fr. Gilbert B. Sales.
“Research and development play a crucial role as twin components of applied knowledge that can hugely improve and impact the export industry as well as the spur of the national economy process,” he added.