PEZA targets more ecozones during PBBM’s term

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has vowed to expand the economic zones in the country to heed the marching orders of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to bring in strategic industries such as those engaged in high-tech manufacturing, health and medical care, and all emerging technologies.

PEZA OIC-director general Tereso Panga was reacting to the call of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during his first State of the Nation Address on the crucial role of economic zones in the Philippines, stating “Ecozones will be fully supported to bring in strategic industries such as those engaged in high-tech manufacturing, health and medical care, and all emerging technologies. This is also seen to facilitate economic growth outside of Metro Manila.”

“We will work closely with the President and his economic team in spreading more strategic industries in other regions of our country through our different types of economic zones so we can continuously bring more jobs, and investment revenues, and improve the lives of our fellowmen under the Marcos administration,” Panga said.

1H income improves

An official report from PEZA said that PEZA has recorded a 7.68 percent increase in export income and 10.158 percent in employment in the first half of 2022.

“We are elated to report that PEZA’s export income grew from $ 30.177 billion last January to June 2021 to $ 32.495 billion covering the same period this year. With the reopening of the Philippine economy and positive outlook under the Marcos administration, we are glad that PEZA contributed to job generation and an increasing employment rate in our country. We now have 1,791,643 workers in PEZA-registered economic zones nationwide compared to last year’s 1,626,416 employees,” Panga added.

In terms of investment performance, PEZA’s total approved economic zone investments amounted to P22.488 billion from January to June 2022, which came from 90 new and expansion projects with projected annual export sales of $747.093 million and expected job generation of 14,354 direct employment.

The top countries with the highest investments for the first six months are Japan, Singapore, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and The Netherlands.

Japan remains PEZA’s top country investor in the first half with P8.007 billion in investments followed by Singapore with P2.169 billion.

Meanwhile, the top-performing region where investments are located still remains in Region 4 with P10.399 billion, while the top-improving regions are: Region 8 (Eastern Visayas), Region 10 (Northern Mindanao), Region 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN), and Region 13 (Caraga).

“Despite experiencing a 29.85 percent decline in investments in the first six months of 2022 compared to the same period last year, our export income and employment continue to grow,” Panga stressed.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported that as of May 2022, the unemployment rate in the country dropped to 6 percent from 7.7 percent in May 2021.

OIC Panga reported, “From P6.675 billion investments in the 2nd quarter of 2021, PEZA’s investment in the 2nd quarter this year was P14.347 billion. These investments came from 61 new and expansion projects,” Panga averred.

Further, these 61 projects are 110.34 percent higher than the 29 approved projects in the 1st quarter of 2022; totaling 90 approved projects from January to June 2022.

While the projected export sales for the 2nd quarter of 2022 experienced a 6.30 percent decline with $514.639 million than last year’s same period of $549.219 million.

“Our projected employment has increased at 29.06 percent in this year’s 2nd quarter. From 8,667 in the 2nd quarter of 2021, the expected job generation from April to June 2022 was 11,186 direct employment,” Panga said.

For the month of June 2022, the PEZA Board approved 20 new and expansion projects with P3,560.913 million of investments, and among the 20 recently approved projects, two projects fall under export manufacturing, 8 for information technology enterprises, five for facilities, and five for ecozone development projects.

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