A total of P25.382 billion in committed investments have been registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) in the first quarter this year reflecting a robust 53.87 percent increase compared with the same period in 2020.
In a report, PEZA Director General Charito “Ching” Plaza cited the huge jump in investments in the various ecozones in the country from only P16.496 billion in the first quarter this year when the lockdown due to the pandemic was first implemented on March 16 that year.
The increase in investments was not dampened by the 34.48 percent decline in the number of projects though decreased to 57 from 87 last year.
Of the 57 newly approved projects, 43 will be located in Luzon while 10 will be located in Visayas, and 4 in Mindanao. For the 57 projects of registered business enterprises, 22 are for export projects, 15 are for IT projects, 7 are for facilities, 3 for logistics and 1 for utilities, and 1 tourism enterprise. Meanwhile, the other 8 are for ecozone development projects which sums to 57 projects in total.
These projects are expected to generate a total of 5,601 employment, PEZA said.
In terms of employment, PEZA reported a slight improvement in hiring to 1,579553 from 1,534,491 in 2020.
Likewise, exports went up 15.63 percent t $14.929 billion from $12.911 billion in the first quarter of 2020.
Further, despite the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) period in April 12 to 16, 2021, PEZA zones have reported that 90% or 2,701 companies are operating nationwide with 1.193 million employees both working in skeletal force and work-from-home arrangements. Per sector, the manufacturing sector is 94% operational while the IT-BPO industry is 84% operational.
Plaza also proudly recognized the locator companies for their ceaseless support and for trusting PEZA despite the current global pandemic crisis.
“Philippines is still indeed an investment haven and PEZA’s brand of excellence, its one-stop non-stop shop as well as becoming part of the solution during these challenging times, and continued operations all while observing strict health and safety protocols is chosen by many investors,” said Plaza.
“With the approval of new projects and increase in the investments and exports in the first quarter of 2021, this proves that PEZA is unfaltering in keeping the Philippine economy afloat and being on top of its game in performing its mandate, mobilizing the country’s investment competitiveness, and creating employment opportunities for many Filipinos.”