MANILA — Investment pledges in the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) reached PhP103.15 billion in the first seven months of the year, PEZA Spokesperson Elmer San Pascual said.
San Pascual said that although the investment amount at end-July 2015 was 19 percent lower than the same period of last year’s PhP127.46 billion, the number of projects this year increased.
According to him, some 360 projects were approved by PEZA in January to July 2015 period, which was 7.0 percent higher from last year’s same period of 337 projects.
He said that three of the top 10 investors are new enterprises from export and tourism sectors.
Seven of the top 10 investors are expansions from export and information technology (IT) enterprises.
The PEZA official said the negative growth in investments in the first seven months of the year was a lingering effect of the congestion at the Manila port last year that made investors delay their expansions and investments in the country.
“There’s little bit of uncertainty [of companies] with the recurrence of such situation but the congestion in our ports is already resolved,” said San Pascual.
“We’ve been getting reports from both the North and South Harbors, and it has already improved,” he added.
He said PEZA continues to intensify its investment missions abroad to regain the confidence of foreign investors.
“So with that, we’re telling them that the government — especially the national government — will no longer allow such a situation to occur and they see how the national government acted at that time,” he said.
Moreover, exports revenue of PEZA-registered firms also had a slight improvement, posting a total of USD21.49 billion receipt in January to June this year from USD21.30 billion in the first semester of last year.
Direct employment in PEZA until end-June 2015 increased by 10 percent to 1,209,546 jobs.