MANILA – The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) reported Tuesday that investment pledges for 2022 are back to pre-pandemic level.
In a statement, PEZA said it approved a total of PHP140.7 billion investment pledges this year, more than double from the PHP69.3 billion approvals in 2021.
This year’s investment approval is also the highest in five years.
In 2018, PEZA-registered projects reached PHP140.2 billion.
PEZA officer-in-charge Tereso Panga said these investment approvals came from 198 projects.
“Despite the 29.85 percent decline in the first semester of the year 2022 compared to the first semester of 2021, we never lost hope that we will recover. With the big-ticket investments that were prequalified by the Board for endorsement to the FIRB (Fiscal Incentive Review Board), we were able to record a positive increase in investments in 2022,” Panga said.
PEZA’s target for this year is to grow by 6 to 7 percent at end-2022.
Earlier, PEZA reported that investment pledges from January to November this year was only at PHP57.05 billion.
During the PEZA board meeting last Dec. 15 led by Trade Secretary and PEZA Chairperson Alfredo Pascual, the investment promotion agency (IPA) approved 13 projects amounting to PHP83.65 billion.
Bulk of these newly approved investment pledges were from three economic zone development projects worth PHP83.02 billion, four manufacturing projects worth PHP502.98 million and six information technology (IT) service projects worth PHP125.17 million.
These projects are expected to rise in Taguig City and the provinces of Pangasinan, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Cebu and Negros Occidental.
“At the rate we are going now, PEZA has achieved this year the level of annual investments approved in 2018. That means that the country’s ecozones and high-performance investments are back to the pre-pandemic, even surpassing the 2018 level. Indeed, the economic and political climate are improving under the PBBM (Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.) administration and we hope to sustain very good performance as we prepare for the upturn in the economy and our transition to upper-middle income status,” Panga added.
Meanwhile, exports in PEZA zones reached USD54.24 billion while employment within ecozones rose to 1,850,842 as of October 2022.
“PEZA remains committed to performing its sworn mandate and attracting the much-needed strategic and big-ticket investments to the country and contribute to PBBM's goal for the country's transition to the upper middle-income economy within his term,” Panga said. (PNA)