The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has approved the registration of the Filipino-owned MJ Landtrade Development Corp. for its P4.116 IT Center special economic zone project, bringing the agency’s total investment approvals in January to P6.393 billion.
PEZA OIC Deputy Director General Tereso O. Panga reported that during that its first Board meeting for the year last January 26, they approved 19 new and expansion projects for a combine cost of P6.393 billion, or 83.69 percent higher than the P3.48 billion approved in January 2021.
According to Panga, the IT Center project of MJ Landtrade will be located in Manila.
The remaining P2.277 billion worth of investments were the combined cost of 18 new and expansion projects of existing registered locators. These include 11 export manufacturing enterprises, four facilities enterprise, two IT enterprise, and one domestic market enterprise. These projects will be located in Makati City, Pasay City, CALABARZON, Cebu City, and South Cotabato.
“With the positive start of the year, we are bullish with our outlook this year, targeting a 10% investment growth based on the initial locator sector targets,” expressed Panga.
Meantime, Panga said that PEZA will strengthen the implementation of the ecozone development program in line with the new Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.
“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,” said Panga.
“Ecozones can be shields to soften the landing of the headwinds, the external constraints, and all these global disruptions happening especially during this time. The other side to this is that ecozones can be economic drivers to accelerate economic recovery and growth.”
Under the PDP 2023-2028, PEZA is tasked to expedite the implementation of the ecozone transformation roadmap which expands the different types of special economic zone registrable under PEZA. This includes the new frontiers for ecozone development which PEZA has been advocating as a catalyst for growth and development.
For 2023, PEZA is targeting a 10 percent increase on investments from the P140.7 billion investments registered in 2022, which was a 103.03 percent higher compared to 2021.
During the panel discussion, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President George Barcelon highlighted the ease of doing business in PEZA, among others, and how it correlates to the country's ability to attract investments. He likewise emphasized the reason behind investors wanting to invest in the country through PEZA thus the need for LGUs to adopt the DNA of PEZA.
Barcelon said “I think our solution is for the local government to have the DNA of PEZA. If you talk about growth 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.”
“More than ever, we commit to strengthen our investment promotion and facilitation efforts by remaining true to our mandate and aggressively promote the Philippines as an investment haven in Asia,” noted Panga.