The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has approved PHP 160.44 billion worth of investments as of Dec. 7, surpassing its full-year target.
“Locator investments represented the bulk of the increase in investments, particularly reinvestments by existing locators,” PEZA Director-General Tereso O. Panga said in a Viber message.
According to Mr. Panga, the value of the projects approved from January to Dec. 7 has already exceeded its full-year target of PHP 154.77 billion.
The tally is also 14% higher than the PHP 140.7-billion worth of projects approved in the same period a year ago.
The amount of approved PEZA investments is still expected to increase. Mr. Panga said the PEZA Board will have its last meeting for the year on Dec. 19.
PEZA data showed 24 projects worth a combined PHP 19.56 billion were approved during last week’s board meeting. However, this was lower than the 13 projects worth PHP 83.65-billion approved a year ago.
Of the 24 approved projects, 21 were locator projects, while three were developer projects.
Twelve of the locator investments are from existing enterprises with new and expansion projects, while the remaining four are from new businesses.
The three developer-operator projects are information technology centers to be developed in Capas, Tarlac; Bataraza, Palawan; and San Miguel, Tarlac.
By sector, the export sector accounted for the bulk or 14 of the projects that were greenlit last week. Four projects involve facilities enterprise, while three were information technology projects.
The projected direct employment of 4,515 from the projects approved last week is almost seven times the 643 projected employment from the projects approved a year ago.
Despite the lower investments, the value of the projected exports from the projects approved on Dec. 7 is five times higher at $286.9 million than the $56.47 million last year.
“We don’t have economic zone exports by destination. But whatever is reflected in the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) data on commodity exports, around 60% of that comes from PEZA,” Mr. Panga said.
From January to Dec. 7, PEZA has approved a total of 221 projects, 13.9% higher than the 194 projects greenlit during the same period a year ago.
Exports from the 221 projects are expected to reach USD 3.71 billion, nearly double the $1.98-billion projected exports from the 194 projects approved in the same period last year.
Last month, Mr. Panga said that PEZA is still expecting the entry of more investments that have a combined worth of over PHP 50 billion.
If realized, this will bring back PEZA investments to the P200-billion to PHP 250-billion level or the 2012 and 2015 peak years of its investment approvals. — By Justine Irish D. Tabile, Reporter