PEZA eyes return to P300-B investment approvals in 2023

Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Tereso Panga is hopeful that the agency can return to PHP300 billion-mark in terms of investment approvals this year. ‘That’s still doable even in 2023 if the big (ticket investment) leads (in the pipeline) will proceed with the registration this year,’ he told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Pasay City late last week. According to PEZA data, it was in 2012 that the investment promotion agency (IPA) registered the highest pledges with total project costs reaching PHP312 billion. This was followed by PHP295 billion in 2015 and PHP279 billion in 2014. ‘We were recently in China, we have some big leads. One is even expanding 300 hectares ecozone development. They are scouting for locations. They are already existing in the Philippines but they are now expanding,’ Panga added. IT parks in NCR Panga said the agency is also waiting for the presidential proclamation declaring information technology (IT) parks in the National Capital Region (NCR) as PEZA-registered ecozones to support the investment approvals in the IPA this year. He said the moratorium on new ecozone development in NCR is superseded by the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprise (CREATE) law. ‘We met with the PMS (Presidential Management Staff), they are inclined to support our position that the moratorium AO (Administrative Order) 18 is effectively superseded by CREATE law. So we’re waiting, and we have endorsed some applications already to the Office of the President for the Metro Manila locations,’ he added. Panga cited provisions in the CREATE law that make the moratorium obsolete, including identifying Metro Manila as part of Tier 1 and information and communications technology (ICT) activities to be located in NCR eligible for tax perks. He said there are 10 to 20 applications with the PEZA for new IT parks and centers in NCR. ‘We’re waiting now the proclamation of an IT center located in Metro Manila so that will now trigger and pave the way for others to be proclaimed as well,’ Panga said. He said incentivizing the development of new ecozones in NCR is still in line with the government’s push for countryside development, as new entrants in the IT and business process management industry prefer Metro Manila as their pioneer office in the Philippines before bringing their operations in other parts of the country. From January to June 2023 this year, PEZA has approved a total of PHP80.6 billion worth of investments. ‘Target this year is roughly around PHP150 billion, but the way things we are going at PHP80 billion, I think we can easily achieve our target, assuming we will double it about PHP160 billion,’ Panga said

Source: Philippines News Agency