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Ecozone investments climb 54% to P25.4 billion

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - May 13, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Investment pledges approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) rose by 54 percent in the first quarter from a year ago despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement yesterday, the PEZA said it approved P25.38 billion worth of investments from January to March, higher than the previous year’s P16.5 billion.

The investments this year are for 57 projects expected to generate 5,601 jobs.

Of the newly approved projects, 43 will be located in Luzon, 10 in the Visayas and four in Mindanao.

The bulk or 22 of the approved projects are for export activities followed by information technology (15), facilities (seven), logistics (three), utilities (one) and tourism (one).

Meanwhile, eight are ecozone development projects.

PEZA said exports from economic zones also went up 15.63 percent to $14.93 billion in the first quarter from $12.91 billion in the same period a year ago.

Employment in ecozones likewise increased by nearly three percent to 1.58 million workers in the three-month period from 1.53 million workers the previous year.

PEZA director general Charito Plaza said the performance shows the Philippines is still a preferred investment destination.

“With the approval of new projects and increase in the investments and exports in the first quarter of 2021, this proves that PEZA is unfaltering in keeping the Philippine economy afloat and being on top of its game in performing its mandate, mobilizing the country’s investment competitiveness, and creating employment opportunities for many Filipinos,” she said.

Despite the imposition of the modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan starting April 12, PEZA said 90 percent or 2,701 companies in ecozones are operating nationwide.

PEZA also said 94 percent of manufacturing firms are operating, while the IT - business process outsourcing sector is 84 percent operational.

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