Investments in IT sector down 42% in first quarter

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Investments in the information technology (IT) sector registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) dropped by 42 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, with no new investments approved in March due to the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 outbreak. 

Data from the PEZA showed investments for the IT sector reached P2.33 billion in the first quarter, down from the P4.01 billion in the same period last year. 

As IT investments decreased, the number of IT projects also declined by 25 percent to 30 as of end-March from 40 in the previous year. 

The IT investment figure in the first quarter was unchanged from that of the January to February period as PEZA did not hold a board meeting for March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

IT projects registered with the PEZA had 825,133 direct employees in January, 12 percent higher than the 736,405 direct workers a year ago.

Exports of the IT sector also went up 15.48 percent to $1.15 billion in January from the $995 million in the same month last year. 

Total approved PEZA investments for the first quarter also registered a 28 percent decline to P16.50 billion from the previous year’s P22.90 billion.

The number of PEZA-approved projects slid by 32 percent to 87 in the January to March period from 128 in the same period last year. 

Total investments for the January to February period are the same as the first quarter since there was no PEZA board meeting in March. 

All projects registered with PEZA had 1.57 million direct employees in January this year, a six percent increase from the 1.48 million direct workers in the same month a year ago. 

Exports from PEZA locators rose by 8.24 percent to $4.36 billion in January from the previous year’s $4.03 billion. 

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