UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES' S&T PARKS GETS ECOZONE STATUS

QUEZON CITY,
June 3, 2004  (STAR) By Zinnia B. Dela Peña  -  The University of the Philippines’ 26-hectare Science and Technology Parks has been granted a special economic zone status by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, adding to the growing list of information technology (IT) hubs in Quezon City.

As a PEZA-registered company, the S&T Parks can extend to its locators standard government incentives such as tax holidays and duty-free importation. Locators will also benefit from the basic amenities that PEZA requires in an IT park.

UP president Franciso Nemenzo said they will start inviting IT companies to relocate their research and development centers in the university area.

About five hectares of the S&T Parks have already been earmarked for the Technology Business Incubator (TBI), a collaboration between UP and the Ayala Foundation Inc. (AFI) aimed at establishing a community of scientists, engineers, faculty members, students, technology innovators, and entrepreneurs.

TBI currently has seven locators – Fluxion Inc., OptiServe Technologies, Inc. I-Gate Solutions & Technologies Corp., Integrative Learning, Astra (Philippines) Inc., Systema Computer Solutions Corp., and Center for Economic Policy Research. These companies are into information and communication technologies, Internet, network, wired and wireless, data communication, and digital signal processing.

Nemenzo said the S&T Parks project aims to pursue UP’s commitment to research excellence by creating an environment in which the industry could interact with the university for mutual benefit.

"Our primary motive when we thought of setting up the park was to give students and faculty members access to IT facilities that cannot otherwise be afforded by the university," Nemenzo said.

UP will be required to put up high-speed fiber-optic telecommunication backbone and high-speed international gateway facility or any high-speed data telecommunication system in the S&T Parks.

The school is also expected to provide its locators with clean and uninterruptible power supply and computerized security and maintenance system. These are in addition to such basic structures and facilities as water, firefighting equipment, sewerage and drainage systems, paved roads, centralized sewage treatment, and water recycling facilities.

Earlier, Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte had called on the private sector to help develop the city into an IT zone and bring in a fresh wave of investments.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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