Investment pledges approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority climbed 83.69 percent in January to P6.39 billion from P3.48 billion a year ago as more locators plan to expand their facilities and ramp up operations in the country.
PEZA acting director-general Tereso Panga said the board approved the investments in its meeting in the last week of January.
“With the positive start of the year, we are bullish with our outlook this year, targeting a 10-percent investment growth based on the initial locator sector targets,” said Panga.
The PEZA board approved a combination of 18 new and expansion projects with investments totaling P2.27 billion. These include 11 export manufacturing enterprises, four facilities enterprises, two IT enterprises and 1 domestic market enterprise.
It also approved an economic zone development project valued at P 4.12 billion.
These projects will be located in PEZA-accredited establishments in Makati City and Pasay City and within the economic zones of CALABARZON, Cebu City and South Cotabato.
Panga said PEZA aimed to strengthen the implementation of the economic zones development program with the launch of the new Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 on Jan. 30, 2023.
“With the inclusion of the ecozone development program in the new Philippine Development Plan, we are positive that more ecozones will be approved and created especially in the countryside. Ecozones can be shields to soften the landing of the headwinds, the external constraints, and all these global disruptions happening especially during this time. Ecozones can be economic drivers to accelerate economic recovery and growth,” he said.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry president George Barcelon underscored the ease of doing business in economic zones, and how it correlates to the country’s ability to attract investments.
“I think our solution is for the local government to have the DNA of PEZA. If you talk about growth [and] inclusivity for the country, the growth should be throughout the Philippines, and I think the local government plays a key role in making things easy for people to want to invest in the area of their jurisdiction,” Barcelon said.
Under the PDP 2023-2028, PEZA is tasked to expedite the implementation of the economic zone transformation roadmap.
“More than ever, we commit to strengthening our investment promotion and facilitation efforts by remaining true to our mandate and aggressively promote the Philippines as an investment haven in Asia,” said Panga.