Atty. Lilia de Lima, Director-General of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) was recently awarded the Philippines-Japan Society Medal of Merit. She is the 37th person (the 19th Filipino) to receive this prestigious award.
DG De Lima is a multi-awarded public servant, whose presidential appointment by former President Fidel V. Ramos in 1995 has been extended by all succeeding three administrations, including the incumbent President Benigno S. Aquino III. The sterling performance of the PEZA is the obvious reason for this unprecedented trust and confidence bestowed on her by four Chief Executives over the last 19 years
DG de Lima earned her Associate in Arts from the Centro Escolar University and her Bachelor of Laws from the Manuel L. Quezon University. She was conferred a Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa by the same university (MLQU) and is a Fellow of the Academy of American and International Law of the Southwestern Legal Foundation in Dallas, Texas.
She began her career in public service as an elected delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention, representing the 2nd District of Camarines Sur. From 1981 to 1987, she was Director of the Bureau of Domestic Trade, then concurrently serving as Executive Director of the Price Stabilization Council, Department of Trade & Industry. From 1989 to 1994, she served as the Chief Operating Officer of the World Trade Center Manila, whereupon she was designated Commissioner of the National Amnesty Commission in 1994. In 1995, she was appointed Director-General of PEZA, a position she continues to hold with distinction to date.
PEZA is the Philippines’ most successful vehicle for attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs) and since 1995, about a third of all locators in its ecozones have been Japanese corporations. Today, the 804 Japanese enterprises that are PEZA-registered account for about 25% of over 3,000 companies located in PEZA ecozones.
PEZA enterprises have poured in almost P2 Trillion in FDIs since 1995 generating over one million direct jobs in 300 ecozones while creating another 2 million indirect employment opportunities in allied and supporting industries nationwide. In 2013 alone, PEZA firms exported US$43 Billion which is projected to increase 10% annually.
PEZA is noted and highly regarded for its culture of Absolute Honesty and One-Stop Non-Stop efficiency; No Corruption, No Red-Tape, Only Red Carpet Treatment for its investors. PEZA has been cited by the World Bank as one of the best practices in ecozones management worldwide. It is also known for catalyzing and building up a breed of exceptionally hardworking, world-class Filipino workers and professionals, as well as for creating a macro-environment that promotes and ensures peaceful, harmonious and proactive labor-management relations.
For her leading role in bringing hundreds of Japanese investors to the Philippines, the Government of Japan conferred on DG de Lima in 2006 “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star”, the highest award given to a non-head of state by His Majesty, the Emperor.