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First pharma ecozone to rise in Bulacan
“We are grateful to the President for the proclamation of the FBBP which is the first pharmaceutical ecozone registered under PEZA,” PEZA director general Charito Plaza said.
STAR/ File

First pharma ecozone to rise in Bulacan

(The Philippine Star) - February 4, 2021 - 12:00am

Real estate developer Philstar Marketing and Development Inc. (PMDI) is putting up the country’s first medical research and development (R&D) and pharmaceutical park at a cost of over P570 million.

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said PMDI has proposed to develop the First Bulacan Business Park (FBBP) in Malolos town.

PEZA deputy director general Tereso Panga said PMDI signed the registration agreement with the PEZA last Jan.27.

President Duterte issued Proclamation 1070 granting FBBP the status of special economic zone last Jan.11.

“We are grateful to the President for the proclamation of the FBBP which is the first pharmaceutical ecozone registered under PEZA,” PEZA director general Charito Plaza said.

With a project cost of P570.59 million, Panga said the FBBP is envisioned to be a premier ecozone that would house medical R&D through a partnership with the academe and research institutions, as well as the manufacture of innovative, over-the-counter and generic drug products, medical instruments/equipment and pharma cold chain.

“FBBP is looking at the pharma parks of India, Thailand and Singapore as its models for the Philippines,” he said.

In addition, the FBBP would adopt smart technologies and a renewable source of power to address the requirements of locator companies.

“In support of the business continuity objective and the government’s mandate under Administrative Order 18 to spur development away from NCR and in favor of the countryside, FBBP in Malolos – being the capital city and educational center of Bulacan province, and given its close proximity to the proposed Bulacan International Airport and MRT (Metro Rail Transit) stations in Guiguinto and Malolos – can provide the redundant site or expansion area for at least 14 global pharma companies already in the Philippines, which are mostly located in Metro Manila,” Panga said.

PMDI is also the developer of the adjacent First Bulacan Industrial City (FBIC) which was established in the 1990s to serve as a pharma park.

FBIC hosts 16 pharma-related companies which include Lloyd Laboratories, Pascual Laboratories, Cargill Phils. and Cosmetique Asia.

As the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has reaffirmed the need for investment in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology, Panga said PEZA, in addition to the existing medical tourism guidelines, is looking to explore adding a new type of ecozone, the Biomedical Innovative Center, to host leading biotechnology companies and Philippine startups including pharmaceuticals.

“This will be in the mold of Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster, which offers a platform for networking businesses and institutes in their pursuit of innovative collaboration and groundbreaking discoveries in a wide spectrum of medical, pharmaceutical, and biological fields, including medical device and regenerative medical fields,” Panga said.

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