PEZA projects fall 19%, local pledges retreat

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    Investments registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) fell 19 percent in 2020 on the back of a pullback of local investors to bet their money due to the global uncertainty.

    In a report, PEZA director-general Charito Plaza said investment pledges stood at P95 billion last year, from P117.5 billion in 2019.

    “Despite the pandemic that began in 2020 and affected global economy and trade, PEZA remains to perform at its best with the help of its registered business enterprises,” Plaza said,

    Plaza expressed optimism PEZA will be able to attract more foreign direct investments in the country, keep the PEZA brand of service renowned worldwide, and help the Philippine economy bounce back and even become a self-reliant, self-sustaining, and resource-generating investment haven in Asia.”

    Foreign investments were up in 2020 by 21.26 percent to P59.73 billion from 2019’s P49.26 billion.

    Local investments which drive PEZA numbers fell 48 percent from P68.29 billion in 2019 to P35.3 billion in 2020.

    Plaza attributed the decline largely to the effects of the lockdowns beginning March 2020 to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus disease 2019.

    There were also fewer projects registered last year at 326 from 540 in 2019. Of the total registered projects last year, 217 are in the manufacturing sector and 109 are in information technology-business process management.

    In terms of location, 146 of the projects will be located in Region IV, 74 in the National Capital Region (NCR), 39 in Region VII, 34 in Region III, and 33 in other regions.

    In terms of sector, the manufacturing industry has generated a total of P34.44 billion of investments, which is 13.43 percent up from the sector’s P 30.35 Billion investment in 2019.

    The IT-BPM industry, on the other hand, is seen to bring in P17.41 billion of investments, flat from .P 17.58 billion recorded in 2019.

    Majority of the investments came from various nationalities including that of America, European countries like United Kingdom, Belgium, Ireland, and Spain, and Asian countries such as China, South Korea, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan.

    In terms of value, regions which attracted the most investments are Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Regions 1, 3, 5, 6, 11 and 12.

    In December 2020, a total of 26 projects were registered and are expected to bring in P6.69 billion of investments. (I. Isip)