Charito B. Plaza – In September 2016, President Duterte appointed Charito Booc Plaza as the new Director-General of Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).
From 1986-1998, Plaza represented Agusan del Norte’s First District in the Philippine House of Representatives. During her time in the House, she served as Vice Chairperson for the Committee on National Defense (8th, 9th and 10th Congress), Vice Chairperson for the Committee on Public Information, and Chairperson for the Committee on Tourism (10th Congress). Plaza is one of the authors of the Special Economic Zones Law that created PEZA, and is also the principal author of Republic Act 7901, which created the Caraga Region.
After leaving Congress, Plaza served as consultant to the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Department of Transportation. Following her appointment as PEZA Director –General last September, Plaza told The Philippine STAR newspaper, “I am fortunate to be one of the authors of the law that finally created PEZA, which included areas of Butuan City and Agusan del Norte as among those identified special economic zones. I proposed to the president in our talk… to make ecozones as the umbrella program for economic development. We will build agricultural economic zones, industrial ecozones, tourism economic zones and defense industrial complex.”
Plaza is also a Commissioned Officer in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) – Reserve Force, holding the rank Brigadier General. From 1989 – 1998 and then from 2012-2015, she was Wing Commander for the 3rd Ready Air Reserve Wing Mindanao and the 7th Air Force Wing Reserve, respectively. She was both the youngest commissioned lieutenant colonel and the youngest colonel in the AFP Reserve Force. Plaza was also the first female general in the AFP Reserve Force, the first female general in Philippine Air Force, and the first female general from Mindanao.