THE PHILIPPINE Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) greenlit P6.39 billion worth of investments in January, which includes the development of an information technology (IT) center in Makati City.

In a statement on Wednesday, PEZA Officer-in-Charge Tereso O. Panga said the board approved last week 19 new and expansion projects of economic zone locators and developer/operators worth P6.39 billion.

He noted this is 83.69% higher than the P3.48-billion investments approved in January 2022.

“With the positive start of the year, we are bullish with our outlook this year, targeting a 10% investment growth based on the initial locator sector targets,” Mr. Panga said.

The biggest project approved by the PEZA board was an economic zone development envisioned as an IT center in Makati City that is expected to generate P4.116 billion worth of investments.

PEZA said the remaining P2.277 billion worth of approved investments will come from 18 new and expansion projects of registered locator companies. Broken down, the companies are comprised of 11 export manufacturing enterprises, four facilities enterprises, two IT enterprises, and one domestic market enterprise.  

According to the PEZA, the projects will be located in Makati City, Pasay City, Calabarzon, Cebu City, and South Cotabato.   

PEZA approved P140.7 billion worth of investments in 2022.   

Meanwhile, Mr. Panga said the inclusion of the ecozone development program in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028 will help attract more investors.

“We are positive that more ecozones will be approved and created especially in the countryside,” he said.

Under the PDP 2023-2028, the PEZA is mandated to accelerate the implementation of the ecozone transformation roadmap that expands the various types of special ecozones that can be registered under the agency.

“Ecozones can be shields to soften the landing of the headwinds, the external constraints, and all these global disruptions happening especially during this time. The other side to this is that ecozones can be economic drivers to accelerate economic recovery and growth,” Mr. Panga said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave