PEZA records good performance in investments in 2020 despite pandemic
A TOP PERFORMING investment promotion agency in the country, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) closes the year 2020 on a good note with a continued streak of good performance and with the approvals of new and expansion projects despite the COVID-19 crisis.
“Indeed, PEZA is unstoppable by COVID-19. While implementing COVID-19 protocols and guidelines, we continue to serve our mandate and turned challenges into opportunities for the Filipino people and Philippine export-industry,” said PEZA Director General Charito “Ching” Plaza. “Amidst the new normal, we will continue to do so in the years to come,” she added.
PEZA BOARD APPROVALS
For the year 2020, the PEZA board approved 318 applications for new and expansion projects which are projected to generate employment of about 70,000. These applications prove that many investors are still looking to invest in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) recently reported that, “Only PEZA [among other IPAs] registered year-on-year growth in foreign investment commitments during the July-to-September period with P20.3 billion, up 97% from P10.3 billion last year.”
PEZA also continues to receive positive impressions from local and international organizations like the IFC World Bank and the US Department of State about its best practices on ecozone management and in its performance. The US Department of State noted that “while the
COMMITTED to its balancing acts to address the impact of the COVID-19 to the Philippine economy and health situations in the country, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Board has approved on July 10, 2020 a total of new 50 projects, which will bring about P22.5 billion investments and generate 8,917 employment.
Philippine bureaucracy can be slow and opaque in its processes, the business environment is notably better within the special economic zones, particularly those available for export businesses operated by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, known for its regulatory transparency, no red-tape policy, and one-stop shop services for investors. Noteworthy advantages of the Philippine investment landscape include free trade zones, including economic zones, and a large, educated, English-speaking Filipino workforce.”
PERFORMANCE INDICATORS IN 2020
Moreover, showing a silver lining amidst the crisis, PEZA has generated P88.341 billion of investments with 300 projects registered as of November 2020. PEZA also generated US$ 45.085 billion of exports and created 1,541,259 jobs as of October 2020. Compared last year, PEZA recorded P109.194 billion of investments and US$ 45.340 billion exports, with 496 projects registered and 1,572,510 jobs generated for the same periods.
Ms. Plaza said, “While PEZA, like other investment promotion agencies (IPAs), may have experienced a decline in investment applications this 2020 which can be attributed to the global pandemic and the localized lockdowns, and also the uncertainties brought by the pending CREATE legislation, PEZA remained on top of its mandate and think out of the box and doing great balancing acts.”
“We continue to be positive about opportunities for the Philippines to attract trust and confidence of investors and business groups whether in terms of new or expansion projects. We at PEZA continue to do our best to attract investors and help our economy bounce back,” noted the PEZA chief.
STATUS OF OPERATIONS
Also with the great balancing acts and business assistance programs implemented by PEZA for its locators to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, PEZA registered companies are nearing to get back to its 100% operations by the end of 2020.
For the period of Dec. 7 to 12, about 2,645 companies or 88% are currently operating with 1,107,826 or 75% of the work force working under various work schemes. By sector, the IT-BPO companies are 84% operational whereas the manufacturing industry is operating at 91%.
For the last two years of the Duterte Administration, PEZA is also gearing to fully adopt its “Transformational Roadmap” containing 10-point programs which seek to eradicate the country’s import and consumption dependence in order to attain industrialization and total development of the Philippines. The programs also complement Administrative Order No. 18, which seeks to accelerate rural progress through the creation of economic zones in the countryside, and Executive Order No. 114 or the “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa” Program.
In his speech during the PEZA 25th Anniversary and Investors’ Recognition 2020, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that “Particularly under the leadership of DG Ching Plaza, we laud PEZA for its great balancing acts during this pandemic, which helped export-oriented enterprises to continue participating in the supply and demand in the global market while protecting the safety and welfare of the Filipino employees. With this, our valued enterprises immensely helped to keep the Philippine economy afloat and let thousands of our Filipino workforce retain their jobs.”
“Let us be one in making a competitive and positive business environment, enhance Filipino human capital and natural resources, and attract investors in the country and thereby create jobs and promote economic growth,” said the PEZA chief.
Showing a silver lining amidst the crisis, PEZA has generated P88.341 billion of investments with 300 projects registered as of November 2020. PEZA also generated US$ 45.085 billion of exports and created 1,541,259 jobs as of October 2020.