MANILA — Investment approvals of Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) in the first three quarters of the year reached PHP196.46 billion, up 94 percent from PHP101.20 billion in the same period in 2016.
In a briefing Monday, PEZA Director General Charito Plaza said developments of new economic zones have driven the increase in investment approvals in January to September 2017 period.
Plaza said the top economic zone developer in the first nine months of the year was First Pangasinan Property Development, a joint venture of Filipino, Taiwanese, Chinese, and Singaporean companies.
Its initial project is the development of a 400-hectare economic zone in Dasol, Pangasinan amounting to PHP20.79 billion, the PEZA chief said.
She said the PHP20.79-billion investment is part of the USD360-billion, or over PHP18-trillion total planned investments of companies which Chinese businessman You Hao Chen initiated to come to the Philippines.
Plaza noted that registration of manufacturing projects also backed the growth in investment approvals in PEZA for the first nine month of the year.
Investment pledges in PEZA remained strong from January to September this year despite the number of projects declined by 2.01 percent year-to-date.
Number of projects registered in PEZA in the first three quarters of the year decreased to 438 projects from 447 projects last year.
As of end-July 2017, total job generation in PEZA improved by 6.12 percent to 1.36 million from 1.28 million at end-July 2017.
Likewise, export revenues of PEZA-registered enterprises rose 11.47 percent to USD29.26 billion at end-July this year from USD26.25 billion in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, Plaza has been leading PEZA for more than a year since the Duterte administration took office in 2016. She started as PEZA chief on Oct. 5, 2016.
In her first 365 days as PEZA chief, investment approvals in PEZA from Oct. 5 last year to Oct. 4 this year reached PHP313.4 billion. The amount was higher than the record-high investment approvals of PEZA in 2012 amounting to PHP311.9 billion.
“PEZA is very aggressive in its marketing and promotions,” Plaza said.
“We conducted briefings, dialogues with local government units, big and private land owners, telling everybody to make their land properties become economic zones. Our goal is to have no idle lands,” she added