The Philippine Economic Zone Authority said Tuesday investments in all economic zones fell 12.6 percent in the first 11 months to P109.19 billion from P122.98 billion in the period last year.
PEZA director-general Charito Plaza said the 12.6-percent decline in investments this year was more moderate than the 44-percent plunge in 2018.
She said despite a slowdown in investments, both employment and exports from economic zones improved this year.
“And as we welcome the New Year, we remain steadfast in our mandate to generate investments, employment for Filipinos, and export income for our economy. We are bolstered by the issuance of the Administrative Order No. 18 this year which ordered government agencies to hasten the development of special economic zones in rural areas and spread development outside of Metro Manila. It inspires us in our work that indeed ecozones are key economic drivers that immensely contribute to economic growth and easing poverty in the host areas of ecozones,” said Plaza.
PEZA is among the top investment promotion agencies that contribute dividends to the national government.
The Board of Investments, the top IPA, earlier reported that it approved P1.04 trillion worth of investments in the first 10 months, up by 139.6 percent from P434 billion a year ago.
PEZA said that with its 10-point program, it continued to track its path to becoming more competitive and regionalized with increased performance in the coming years.
The agency’s programs include the creation of the Philippine ecozones map; creation of green healthy, sustainable and smart ecozones; establishment of Special Economic Zones Institute; building eco-towns, eco-cities and new metropolitan areas in every region; expanding PEZA investment promotion partnerships (Ka-PIPPs); and promoting the “Galing Pinas” slogan.
Its programs also include enhancing PEZA’s structure towards decentralization, regionalization and new CPCS; affiliation of PEZA employees, ecozones developers and industries as military reservist unit and Disaster Resilience and Emergency Management; creation of food terminal, transportation and logistics hubs in every region; and the institution of the Development Outreach for Labor and Livelihood Advancement of Resources.
It said the programs would be launched or inaugurated next year in line with the agency’s silver anniversary celebration.
“We are committed to implement the PEZA’s new programs in the coming years and realize PEZA’s mandates in creating export investments, generate massive employment, facilitate transfer and creation of homegrown technology, development and responsible utilization of idle lands thereby achieving total development, peace, and prosperity,” Plaza said.