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PEZA investment approvals up 27% in January

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has approved a total of PHP14.01 billion worth of investment pledges in January 2018, higher by 27.2 percent from the same month in 2017 at PHP11.01 billion.

PEZA Director General Charito Plaza told reporters Wednesday that these investments came from 32 projects registered with the agency last month.

However, number of projects listed in PEZA for January declined by 43 percent year-on-year from 56 projects last year.

Plaza attributed the growth in investment commitments of companies in PEZA to the aggressive marketing of the agency to develop more economic zones and establish industries within the PEZA ecozones.

Majority of the investments last month were ecozones development.

On the other hand, PEZA Promotions and Public Relations Group Manager Elmer San Pascual said investment pledges in the manufacturing sector continued to decline in January of this year.

For the full year of 2017, PEZA approved investments in manufacturing dropped 46.39 percent to PHP48.38 billion from PHP90.24 billion in 2016.

Likewise, investment pledges for information technology (IT) sector continued to decrease by 73 percent in January 2018 to PHP529 million from PHP1.98 billion in January 2017.

Investment approvals in IT sector for the full year of 2017 registered a decrement of 49 percent to PHP15.56 billion from PHP30.44 billion in 2016.

San Pascual admitted that the discussions on the tax reform in the country created some uncertainties among existing and potential investors of PEZA.

Moreover, Plaza clarified that the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law still retains fiscal incentives given to PEZA, particularly the zero-rated value-added tax (VAT).

Plaza said guidelines from the Department of Finance will soon be out to clarify uncertainties on zero-rated VAT for local firms supplying to PEZA-registered companies.

Kris Crismundo / PNA