By MIKE BAÑOS, Editor-at-LargeDEFENSE Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana last week unveiled the PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority’s strategic plans which would enable the entity to pursue its main task of providing for the welfare and benefits of veterans and families of the country’s armed forces.
Lorenzana lauded the entity during the PHIVIDEC Veterans Event 2018 held last November 27 at the Limketkai Mall Atrium highlighted by the awarding of the US Congressional Gold Medal to 15 Filipino War veterans by a representative of the US Veterans Affairs (VA) office from the US Embassy in Manila.
“I would like to congratulate the Phividec Industrial Authority for this yearly noble initiative. I hope that you can also do this in other parts of the country. I proffer my thanks and gratitude to the Phividec Board, Management and Employees, for the noble gesture of taking care of the welfare and well-being of our veterans,” Lorenzana said.
The Philippine Veterans Investment Development Corporation Industrial Authority (PHIVIDEC-IA) is a government owned and controlled corporation. It was established on August 13, 1974 by Presidential Decree 538 as amended by Presidential Decree 1491.
Lorenzana said the present Board of Directors had already allocated and released some P90-million to support various veterans’ organizations and their activities during their first two years of tenure and was considering further raising the assistance in 2019 to twice or triple that amount depending on its financial performance.
“The V in Phividec stands for Veterans. So the whole activity of the Phividec Industrial Authority should be geared towards producing benefits for our veterans. In this spirit, both the PHIVIDEC-IA and the DND can work together in furthering veterans’ affairs all over the country,” the defense chief said.
“The DND and PHIVIDEC-IA can work together to fill the need to sustain veterans benefits through development of non-traditional financial forces. PHIVIDEC-IA can establish estates anywhere in the Philippines through Presidential Proclamation,” he added.
Lorenzana next proceeded to enumerate the entity’s strategic projects which it aims to pursue to fulfill its mandate for the welfare and benefit of veterans and their families.
Development of its area in Misamis Oriental as a hub for Digital Communications Technology.
Defense Industrial Estate. The Government Arsenal Defense Industry Estate (GADIE) would be Southeast Asia’s first defense economic zone aimed at attracting local foreign arms manufacturers who will supply the Philippine military’s needs and possibly export arms to other countries.
Initially set to be established at a 370 hectare estate in Limay, Bataan, next to the Government Arsenal that provides basic weapons and other munitions to the AFP and police, the DND is now also looking at Nueva Ecija as a possible option. The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is assisting DND in inviting foreign arms manufacturers of military aircraft, ships, arms and ammunition, drones, combat clothing, and other supplies needed by military and police forces.
Free Port Zone in Tawi-Tawi. The Tawi-Tawi Special Economic and Freeport Zone would include provisions for the revival of the barter trade with nearby countries to re-establish itself as a major trade route for the Bangsamoro areas and the Brunei Darussalam Indonesia Malaysia the Philippine East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-Eaga).
Joint Venture to develop, operate and maintain an integrated steel mill. Set to start next year, Panhua Group Co., Ltd. (Panhua) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last Nov. 20, 2018 with the PHIVIDEC-IA and Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) for a 305-hectare integrated steel manufacturing complex at PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate at the Misamis Oriental-Special Economic Zone (PIEMO-SEZ). The $3.5-billion investment would include a port, a 10-million ton capacity integrated steel mill, an industrial park and other downstream industries to be implemented in three phases and eventually create 50,000 new jobs.
Rehabilitation of Panay Railways Inc., a a government-owned and controlled corporation of the Philippines headquartered in La Paz, Iloilo City, Panay, and a subsidiary of Phividec Railways Inc. of PHIVIDEC. The railway current doesn't operate but leases its properties to defray the costs of maintaining its assets.
“These projects have been presented to the DND for evaluation by other government offices. It is the dream of this administration to establish an integrated steel mill in the country,” Lorenzana said. “With the initiatives take by the PHIVIDEC-IA Board, this dream is within reach with the recent signing of an MOU on the establishment of an integrated steel mill in the Phividec Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental.”
“We at the DND, particularly the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), have made it our main mission to realize the agenda in improving veterans quality of life a fitting gratitude to the sacrifices you have made to bring peace, freedom and democracy to our nation,” the defense chief told the veterans and their families present during the whole day event.
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