PASAY CITY – The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) on Wednesday, 29 March, has recorded a total of PhP 12.537 billion investments for the first quarter of the year, a 53.99% increase from the same period in 2022. 

PEZA Director General Tereso O. Panga stated, “This surge in investments almost tripling its performance growth as compared to January to March 2022 is an indication that we are on the right track in achieving our 10% target this year.” 

This comes as the PEZA Board approved last March 24 about 12 new and expansion projects expected to bring in PhP 2.343 billion worth of investments for the month of March alone. 

Q1 performance 

According to Panga, “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 PhP 12 billion of investments.” 

Of the 42 projects, the PEZA Board approved 40 locator projects with PhP 8.188 billion investments and two (2) developer projects having PhP 4.349 billion, totaling to PhP 12.537 billion investments. The 42 projects are 44.83% higher than the 29 projects approved in Q1 2022.

These projects are also expected to generate US$ 616.585 million exports and 5,236 direct employment, both gaining an increase of 165.25% and 65.28% respectively for the first quarter. 

The PEZA Chief is confident that, “We have achieved positive investments for this year’s first quarter and 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.” 

PEZA and ecozone stakeholders welcome PBBM’s appointment of a permanent Director General, who is an insider and career service official. Panga has been the OIC since July 2022 by virtue of MCs 1 and 3 and has been involved in several investment missions abroad including PBBM’s recent working visit to Japan. 

“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. We will be more proactive and agile to keep up with the demands of stakeholders. We in PEZA thank President Bongbong Marcos for his support and confidence in the Agency and the ecozone program as a key strategy in the Philippine medium-term development plan (PDP) for 2023-2028,” expressed the Director General. 

The PEZA Chief also mentioned, “Among the recent leads from new ecozone locator applicants and inbound investors’ delegations are into vaccine and life sciences sector, new wave of 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, anaerobic waste water treatment, and 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.”

“As always, our strategy is to follow thru investment leads from PBBM’s state and working visits to other countries to promote the Philippines as a smart destination in the region. Guided by DTI’s Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI)-driven industrialization strategy, we also aim to create more ecozones and smart townships in rural and new growth areas to accelerate countryside development,” added Panga. 

The Philippines is expected to be one of the best performing economies in the region with its strong GDP forecast and PBBM’s bid to graduate the economy to upper middle-income status within the next two (2) years. *

Date of release: 31 March 2023