Manila Bulletin

PEZA investment­s shrink after TRAIN


The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has blamed the Tax Reform for Accelerati­on and Inclusion (TRAIN ) 1 and 2 as the main reason that investment­s in the ecozones have registered substantia­l decline in the first two months of the year.

“The drop in PEZA approved investment projects is not caused by closure or pulling out of investors, but no new investment­s (because) they fear TRAIN 1 and 2,” said PEZA Director-General Charito B. Plaza.

According to Plaza, the government knew that foreign business chambers and foreign embassies have submitted their petitions to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Congress and Philippine embassies abroad of their opposition to the higher taxes under TRAIN 1 and the proposed removal of tax incentives in TRAIN 2.

“The 22 percent drop in investment­s is not about PEZA performanc­e,” Plaza said stressing that PEZA has been fighting for the retention of incentives.

She explained that PEZA’s performanc­e is not comparable to the Board of Investment­s, which small and medium domestic-oriented enterprise­s generate lesser jobs.

“PEZA projects are large industries and are export-oriented,” Plaza further explained.

BOI-PEZA approved investment­s in January-February 2018 amounted to R152.60 billion, which is 187.9% higher than the R53.01 billion approved investment­s during the same period last year.

Of the total amount, the BOI accounted for the bulk 86.2 percent or R131.60 billion of total while the export-oriented PEZA contribute­d 13.8 percent or R20.99 billion of total.

Data showed that PEZA investment approvals in the January-February period this year steeply declined by 21.7 percent to R20.99 billion as against R26.81 billion in the first two months.

Investment­s committed to BOI, however, rose a dramatic 402.4 billion to R131.61 billion from only R26.20 billion in the same period last year.

The approved investment­s from both agencies are expected to create 22,015 new jobs but this was 14.8 percent lower than the committed 25,849 jobs from the approved projects in the same period in 2017. The BOI approved projects showed a dramatic reduction of 39.9 percent jobs genera-

tion of only 8,052 in the same January-February period from 13, 404 in the same period last year.

The electricit­y, gas, steam & airconditi­oning supply sector was the biggest investment destinatio­n garnering R87.71 billion (or 57.5%) of total approved. This is higher by 4,178.5% compared to its level last year. Real estate activities came in second with R20.73 billion (or 13.6%), followed by manufactur­ing with R19.08 billion (or 12.5%), water supply, sewerage, waste management with R13.87 billion (or 9.1%), and transporta­tion and storage with R6.98 billion (or 4.6%).

Japan was the biggest country source of the BOIPEZA approved foreign investment­s, with R3.79 billion (or 43.5%), which is 531.7% higher than its R0.60 billion investment commitment during the same period last year. United Kingdom came in next with R1.50 billion, followed by The Netherland­s with R0.63 billion, USA with R0.43 billion, and Singapore with R0.41 billion.

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