PEZA Director-General Charito B. Plaza reported that for the January-November period this year, the agency was able to approve P88.341-billion worth of investments or 18.9 percent lower than the P109.194 billion committed but registered investments in the same first eleven months of 2019.
PEZA, which hosts mostly export-oriented manufacturing firms, approved 318 applications for new and expansion projects which are projected to generate employment of about 70,000. In the January-November period last year, PEZA registered 496 projects.
Plaza said that despite the slowdown, the registration of new and expansion projects still is still indicative of continued investors’ interest to invest in the Philippines.
“While PEZA, like other investment promotion agencies (IPAs), may have experienced a decline in investment applications this 2020, which can be attributed the global pandemic and the localized lockdowns, and also the uncertainties brought by the pending CREATE legislation, PEZA remained on top of its mandate and think out of the box and doing great balancing acts,” said Plaza.
“We continue to be positive about opportunities for the Philippines to attract trust and confidence of investors and business groups whether in terms of new or expansion projects. We at PEZA continue to do our best to attract investors and help our economy bounce back.”
In terms of exports, Plaza also reported that PEZA generated $45.085 billion worth of exports as of October this year, just a little bit lower than the $45.34 billion registered in the first ten months of 2019.
In terms of employment, PEZA’s employment decreased slightly to 1,541,259 jobs as of October 2020 compared with 1,572,510 jobs generated for the same period last year.
During this pandemic year, PEZA did a great balancing act of providing assistance for its locators to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Plaza reported that its registered companies are expected to be 100 percent fully operational by the end of 2020.
For the period of December 7-12, about 2,645 companies or 88 percent are currently operating with 1,107,826 or 75 percent of the work force working under various work schemes. By sector, the IT-BPO companies are 84 percent operational whereas the manufacturing industry is operating at 91 percent capacity.
For the last two years of the Duterte Administration, PEZA is also gearing to fully adopt its “Transformational Roadmap” containing 10-point programs, which seek to eradicate the country’s import and consumption dependence in order to attain industrialization and total development of the Philippines. The programs also complement Administrative Order (AO) No. 18, which seeks to accelerate rural progress through the creation of economic zones in the countryside, and Executive Order (EO) No. 114 or the “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa” Program.
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