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PEZA’s new approvals contracts 27% in 1st half

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) reported a 27 percent decline in new project approvals in the first semester this year although committed foreign equity contribution dramatically grew 26 percent.

PEZA Director General Charito “Ching” Plaza reported that total project approvals in the first half of the year reached only P52.01 billion, 27 percent lower compared with the P71.21 billion approved investment pledges in the same period in 2019. These investments represent the combined project cost of 164 new and expansion projects in various economic zones in the country.

Of the total committed investments, foreign equity contribution increased by 26 percent to P36.26 billion from P28.75 billion in the same period in 2019. Filipino contribution, however, plunged 63 percent to P15.75 billion from last year’s figure of P42.46 billion.

In terms of exports, PEZA enterprises exported $24.81billion or 7 percent growth in the January-June period. Employment generation, however, decreased 3 percent to 1,476,076 compared to the same period last year.

According to Plaza, investments for the manufacturing sector increased by 24 percent or P23.34 billion as against P18.77 billion last year.

The IT-BPM sector also generated P11.40 billion which is 37 percent higher than last year’s P8.32 billion worth of new investments.

Plaza remained positive that the agency and the country as a whole will be able to bounce back from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. “It is true that the COVID-19 pandemic affected our economy badly. It’s now been reported that we’re in a recession, with the country’s GDP shrinking to 16.5 percent in the second quarter,” said Plaza.

“Nevertheless, we at PEZA remain hopeful to bounce back from this. We have to treat this crisis as both a lesson and an opportunity,” said the PEZA Chief.

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