PH lures investments amid pandemic

    Debunk. DOF previously debunked PEZA director-general Charito Plaza’s claim that PEZA generated over P10 trillion in contributions to the economy from 2015 to 2017, saying the method in calculating PEZA’s total contributions that she used added items from both expenditures and income, which resulted in double-counting. Photo shows the Bataan Freeport in Mariveles.
    Photo shows the Bataan Freeport in Mariveles.

    Even with 355 companies still not operational and more than 432,000 workers displaced due to the disruptions of the pandemic,

    the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) continues to attract investments, boosting hopes it will exceed P100 billion in registered projects this year.

    In its last two board meetings, the PEZA board has approved 67 projects with P18.8 billion worth of investments that would generate 9,597 jobs once fully operational.

    Charito Plaza, PEZA director-general, said three companies have indicated interest to transfer from China to the Philippines, one of them an Israeli company.

    No details were provided but Plaza said the Israeli firm is poised to bring to the Philippines 16 branches in China for the production of pioneering products.

    Plaza also expressed optimism all PEZA locators which have closed will resume 100-percent operations by December.

    Approved last October 2 were 33 projects with investment of P4 billion that will create 5,654 jobs.

    On November 4, Plaza said the PEZA board also approved 34 projects valued at P14.65 billion and will create 3,893 jobs.

    According to Plaza, some existing investors are expanding, bringing in products, hiking capacities and increasing their workforce.

    However, to date, 13 percent of registered business enterprises are not operational due to raw material constraints and cancellation of orders. The stoppage of these 355 companies have affected 29 percent of 1.6 million PEZA workers or 432,747 employed by locators in the ecozones.

    The 2,627 companies which have remained operational have assured the continued employment of 1.05 million workers.

    Of the number of operating companies, 84 percent are in the information technology-business process management industry and a higher 89 percent are in manufacturing.
    Plaza said outlook for investments in 2021 will largely depend on the containment of the pandemic.

    “The statistics and and numbers will surely increase… we will continue to work hard in attracting investors,” Plaza said.