PEZA approved investments soar 139% in January; 300,000 still out of work

New committed investments approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) in January this year soared 139 percent, but there are still over 300,000 workers displaced from the continued non-operation of more than 300 locators.

 PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza said in her State of PEZA Address during its 26th Anniversary celebration today, Feb. 24, that 24 projects with combined investments of P11.308 billion were approved in the first month of 2021.

 “This is actually 139th increase from the P4.726 billion investments PEZA generated in January 2020,” Plaza reported. Of the 24 projects, 20 are locator enterprises and 4 are economic zone developers.

Philippine Economic Zone Authority Director General Charito B. Plaza. (Photo credit from Corporate Communications Division Philippine Economic Zone Authority)

Plaza said the 24 projects are expected to employ 5,601 Filipinos once fully operational.

Meantime, Plaza also reported that as of Feb. 21 this year, its monitoring showed that 359 or 12 percent or of its locators are still not operating or on no production status, affecting 316,165 workers.

 A large majority of 2,668 companies or 88 percent of total PEZA enterprises are operating in various economic zones nationwide. These operational firms are employing 1,174,857 Filipinos. Of these operating companies, 84 percent are from the IT-business process outsourcing sector.

Plaza also reported that 91 percent of manufacturing firms in their ecozones are already operating.