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Ecozone investments drop 32% in 5 months
Data presented by PEZA director general Charito Plaza in an online press briefing yesterday showed the agency approved P29.54 billion worth of investments in the first five months of the year, down from P43.22 billion in the same period last year.
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Ecozone investments drop 32% in 5 months

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - June 17, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Investments approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) declined 32 percent in the January to May period from a year ago due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19.

Data presented by PEZA director general Charito Plaza in an online press briefing yesterday showed the agency approved P29.54 billion worth of investments in the first five months of the year, down from P43.22 billion in the same period last year.

The approved investments were for 113 projects as of end-May, also lower than the 196 projects the previous year.

The approved projects are expected to generate 1.57 million direct jobs, six percent higher than the 1.48 million jobs last year.

Investments for the manufacturing sector were down 10.47 percent to P10.35 billion in the five month period from P11.56 billion last year.

For real estate activities, investments in the sector dropped 67 percent to P8.47 billion during the reference period from P25.58 billion a year ago.

For the electricity, gas, and water supply sector, no investments were approved by PEZA so far this year, while P794.99 million worth of investments were approved the previous year.

Investments for transport, storage and communications plunged 90 percent to P35.27 million in the five month period from P361.53 million last year.

Meanwhile, investments for the information technology sector jumped 117 percent to P10.68 billion as of end-May from P4.92 billion a year ago.

PEZA was initially aiming for a five to 10 percent growth in approved investments this year to reverse last year’s double-digit contraction.

“With this COVID crisis, a pandemic affecting the whole world, we just have to keep our investors, let our present investors expand. We are encouraging them to expand,” Plaza said.

As the pandemic has affected operations of ecozone locators, she said PEZA has implemented relief measures.

Among these measures is to allow PEZA-registered firms enjoying the five percent tax on gross income earned to include in their deductible expenses the costs incurred to maintain operations during the quarantine period.

She said expenses that may be deducted are those spent to provide accommodation, shuttle services, personal protective equipment and COVID-19 tests to employees, as well as port charges and disinfection of facilities.

Earlier, PEZA also announced it deferred the payment of rent and utilities in public ecozones such as Cavite Economic Zone, Mactan Economic Zone, Baguio City Economic Zone and Pampanga Economic Zone.

ECOZONE PEZA
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