PEZA slates approval of 50 new projects

Published August 15, 2022, 11:01 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has announced that 50 new and expansion projects are slated for approval, boosting the agency’s confidence to remain on track to hit its 6-7 percent growth target this year.

PEZA Officer in Charge Deputy Director General Tereso O. Panga said that for their first board meeting this month, they will present to Trade and Industry Secretary and PEZA Chairman Alfredo E. Pascual at least 50 applications for ecozone developer and locator projects.

Panga said the usual top sources of ecozone investments are ecozone development, export manufacturing especially electronics and automotive, and IT services.

PEZA investments declined by 29 percent decline in the first half this year to P14.347 billion as against P6.675 billion in the same period last year, despite a strong second quarter performance where investment pledges grew 115 percent.

“The 115 percent increase in our investments for our comparative April- June 2022 data over last year indicate that we are on our way to recovery as well as the foreign investors’ strong interest for the Philippines,” said Panga.

With the assumption of the President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Panga was confident of a rebound by the third quarter this year to exceed its P14.3 billion investments approved for April-June.

In the President’s first State of the Nation address, Marcos highlighted the strategic importance of the economic zones and the promotion of productivity-enhancing investments, agro-industrial processing, digital transformation and increased infrastructure spending. “This will strengthen our ability to attract more investments and push for countryside development through the ecozones,” said Panga.

Guided by the new DTI strategic priorities, Panga said the agency can realize big ticket investments from these industry clusters and activities: aerospace and MROs; electronics especially MLCCs; e-vehicles; remote healthcare, AI and hyperscalers; pharmaceuticals and medical devices; agriculture 4.0 and regenerative farming; emerging energy technologies, mineral processing; and mega ecozone development.

Given the right ecosystem and enabling laws, he said the Philippine economy could be boosted if economic activities flourish in the ecozones and its linkage in the domestic market. “As our increasing GDP growth is a sign of economic strength, we can expect an upturn in the economy and thereby making PEZA more effective in attracting additional investments to generate the much needed jobs, exports, local and national revenues, and other economic opportunities for the country,” Panga concluded.