PEZA sees 50% decline in 2020 investments

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) expects to achieve 50 percent only of the P117.5 billion-worth of investment pledges it approved last year.

PEZA Director-General Charito Plaza revealed this as a realistic investments target this year in light of the global recession due to the still evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are definitely expecting half or 50 percent of what we have achieved last year,” said Plaza. This means, PEZA is hoping to register P58.75 billion only in new investments this year or 50 percent lower than the P117.5 billion it approved in 2019.

To date, to date, PEZA has approved a total of P35.6 billion worth of new investment pledges. This include the latest P22.5 billion-worth new investments from 50 new projects approved during its July 10 Board meeting and P13.1 billion from January to May period.

Plaza said the 50 new projects are expected to generate 9,000 new jobs once they become operational bringing total jobs creation to 28,811 as of July 10 this year. 

These projects include 16 export enterprises, 15 IT enterprises, 7 facilities, 2 logistics and 10 new ecozone developments.

“We are still very positive to be able to keep existing locators and attract new investors,” said Plaza noting that they have created a good impression among foreign investors as to how they managed during this pandemic.

Foremost, all PEZA economic zones nationwide have remained COVID-free. “We consider that a great accomplishment” said Plaza as she cited the 100 percent cooperation and compliance of the health and safety protocols by its locators. 

In addition, PEZA has extended all relief measures to locators, including their COVID-19 related expenses as part of the deductibles from their payment of 5 percent tax on gross income earned.

They have also allowed work from-home-arrangements. Companies are also allowed to tap pop-up facilities for workers who cannot work from home to ensure they continue working.

“COVID-19 cannot stop PEZA in performing its mandate to register, manage, and operate public and private economic zones in the country. PEZA continues to attract investors to come and invest to the Philippines despite the crisis,” said Plaza.