THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) said it has recorded P12.537 billion worth of investments for the first quarter of 2023, a 53.99-percent increase from the P8.141 billion in approved investments recorded from the same period in 2022.
“The Peza Board has approved a total of 42 new and expansion projects of ecozone locators and developer/operators for the first quarter of the year, which are expected to bring more than P12 billion of investments,” Peza Director General Tereso O. Panga said in a statement on Wednesday.
“This surge in investments that gained more than 50 percent in increase as compared to January to March 2022 is an indication that we are on the right track in achieving our 10-percent target this year,” Panga added.
The investment promotion agency said this comes after the PEZA Board approved last March 24 about 12 new and expansion projects expected to bring in P2.343 billion worth of investments for the month of March alone. As to the breakdown of the 42 projects approved in the first quarter of 2023, Peza said 40 locator projects are expected to bring in P8.188-billion investments and two developer projects with P4.349 billion.
Meanwhile, these approved projects in the first quarter of 2023 are expected to generate US$616.585-million exports and 5,236 in direct employment, Peza noted.
In January, Peza said it approved P6.39 billion in investments while it approved P3.80 billion worth of investments in February 2023.
During the first quarter of 2022 or from January to March last year, Peza approved investments amounting to P8.141 billion which came from 29 new and expansion projects.
With the growth in investment approvals, the Peza chief expressed confidence that “we can sustain this momentum in the coming months as we expect more inbound delegations of foreign investors.”
“The best is yet to come as we further open up the economy and manage the external headwinds,” Panga added.
Meanwhile, Peza said its ecozone stakeholders welcome President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s appointment of a permanent Director General after only having Panga as the agency’s Officer-in-Charge since July 2022 by virtue of Memorandum Circulars 1 and 3.
Moving forward, the Peza chief divulged his plans and targets for the agency.
“We have taken the job seriously since the day we assumed as OIC. And now, with the stability as the Peza Head, we will go far with our targets to position the Philippines as the investment hub in Asia,” Panga said.
“We will be more proactive and agile to keep up with the demands of stakeholders,” he added.
The Peza chief said among the recent leads from new ecozone locator applicants and inbound investors’ delegations are into vaccine and life sciences sector, new wave of electric vehicle (EV) battery technology, motorcycle manufacturing, integrated circuit (IC) packaging and testing services, regenerative agriculture, organic fertilizers and pesticides, healthcare, deep learning, fintech, and “other frontier technologies.”
Panga said there are also leads from anaerobic waste water treatment and (liquefied natural gas) LNG facilities.
“These emerging technologies will complement the steady flow of investments in semicon-electronics manufacturing and IT services, which are the leading sectors in Peza,” Panga said.