Investment pledges climbed 89.4% in first 7 months of 2017–Peza

August 30, 2017 at 18:00

Investment pledges climbed 89.4% in first 7 months of 2017–Peza

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) on Tuesday reported an increase of investment pledges by 89.4 percent in the first seven months of the year, driven by aggressive ecozone development.

The investment-promotion agency reported solid growth numbers in investment pledges, employment and exports from the January-to- July period for the year.

“In January to July, Peza grew new investments to  P132.663 billion, an 89.43-percent increase over the P70 billion [registered] in 2016,” Peza Director General Charito B. Plaza said at a news briefing on Tuesday.

“The increase in Peza’s performance is due to the economic-zone development, amounting to P75.4 billion, an increase of 95 percent compared to the same period in 2016,”  she added.​

Ecozone development comprises some 62.8 percent of the total investment pledges pulled in the seven-month period.

In terms of number of projects, the P132.663 billion translates to 363 projects, up from the 308 recorded in the same period last year.

Direct employment in the seven months of the year amounted to 1.35 million, up from the 1.27 million from January to July in 2016.

Exports recorded by Peza, which takes up 80 percent of the country’s total export receipts, grew by 12.37 percent, Plaza said.

Among the big-ticket items approved in the first seven months is the Philippine Chinese Industrial Economic Zone (PCIEZ) in Dasul, Pangasinan. The applicant company is identified as First Pangasinan Industrial Corp. (FPIC).

FPIC grand plan is to expand the PCIEZ—now just in its first phase costing P20.9 billion—into a mixed-use special economic zone covering a 3,000-hectare land area with a total cost of  $360 billion.

“This overall plan will be developed over 30 years. An integrated township in Pangasinan forms part of this. Overall, this translates to a yearly investment input of P600 billion for the local economy,” Plaza claimed.

This particular ecozone has been deemed controversial due to its links to Xianglu Dragon Group Chairman Chen You Hao.

Plaza, in full defense of the foreign national, said Chen’s participation in the project is limited as a “coordinator” tasked to bring in locator companies to PCIEZ.

​To recall, Chen You Hao has been accused of economic crimes by the Republic of China (Taiwan) for allegedly committing fraud on transactions worth billions of dollars.

While the controversial businessman has reportedly divested his interest in companies that will be partaking in investments here in the Philippines, Plaza said the negative news reports may sour the investment climate here.

Peza clarified that its board​ only granted the project a prequalification clearance, and ultimately, the final go-ahead will be given by Malacañang through an executive order declaring the area as an economic zone.

“We issued this to the ecozone developer whose project qualified for registration entitled for incentives, but subject to compliance with all requirements for presidential proclamation,” Plaza said.


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