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PEZA’s export income and employment increase in 2021 despite pandemic 

PEZA’s export income and employment increase in 2021 despite pandemic 
November 11, 2021
PEZA’s export income and employment increase in 2021 despite pandemic 

11 November 2021 (Saturday)
 

Pasay City – Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Charito “Ching” Plaza emphasized on Thursday that PEZA’s export income and employment generated in ecozones this 2021 to date increased despite the pandemic.
 

“Indeed, PEZA continued to perform its mandate to the utmost of our abilities in almost two years since pandemic affected global economy. In fact, PEZA locators and companies continued operations during pandemic until present,” explained Plaza.

Based on our zone reports as of September 2021, a total of 90% of our registered companies are operating nationwide under various work arrangements, 3% higher compared from 87% last year covering the same period.

This has allowed PEZA to report a positive increase in its actual exports and employment for the period of January to August 2021.

PEZA reported an 11.12% increase in its actual employment which totaled to 1,687,938 and there is a 17.35% increase in terms of export income amounting to $40.692 Billion USD.

Plaza also noted that, “PEZA continues to contribute 65% of export income on commodities and goods, and export service income of 85% from ITBPO and tourism-oriented companies registered with PEZA.”

“This is not possible of course without the help of our locators who kept the economy afloat,” noted Plaza.

PEZA BALANCING ACTS

In response to this, PEZA implemented various ‘balancing acts’ to protect both the country’s economy and Filipino workers. “We ensured that our services are operating non-stop without compromising the health, safety, and the jobs our workforce,” said the PEZA Chief.

Such balancing acts include the inclusion of COVID-related expenses as deductibles for enterprises availing of the 5% GIE incentive, the inclusion of IT-BPO companies and economic frontline workers in the subgroup of the A4 vaccination priority list to fasten the attainment of herd immunity for the reopening of the economy; and the allowance of 90% WFH arrangements.

PEZA’s continuous implementation of its brand of excellence, which is recognized globally by the IFC World Bank, and these acts have allowed PEZA to receive recognitions from various organizations such as the US Department of State which stated in its official 2020

Investment Climate Statements that “the business environment is notably better within the special economic zones, particularly those available for export businesses operated by PEZA, known for its regulatory transparency, no red-tape policy, and one-stop shop services for investors.”

The Presidential Communications Operations Office also, during the 2020 FOI Awards, gave PEZA a Special Citation conferred to government agencies who have exemplified an untiring dedication and commitment to the FOI program during the COVID-19 pandemic by keeping its channels of information open and active to the public.

PANDEMIC IMPACT TO ECONOMY MORE FELT IN 2021 THAN 2020

Meanwhile, the PEZA Chief underlined that the pandemic’s effect of slowing down global and local economies was felt more in 2021 compared to when quarantines actually began in 2020.

“The decline in investment pledges and projects in PEZA was felt more in 2021. This is because when the first quarantines began in Philippines in March 2020, there were pending applications for investments and projects that were approved. Thus, 2020 performance didn’t immediately decrease,” explained Plaza.

The Director General said that “Due to the strict lockdowns implemented last year, the approval of projects filed in early 2020 were delayed until mid to late last year. Business groups, entrepreneurs, and exporters were on a wait-and-see mode and had lower risk appetite in their investments during the pandemic. Hence, the impact of the pandemic was really felt this year.”

However, Plaza highlighted that PEZA continued to operate and attract investments during the pandemic. “We retained business confidence and trust in PEZA as we were quick to adjust in the new normal and establish business assistance and reprieves,” she said.

January to October 2021 saw PEZA investments from 215 approved projects total to PhP 62.722 Billion which is 13.66% lower compared to PhP 72.644 Billion investments in 2020 of the similar period.

Most of the investments came from Ecozone Development with PhP 28.754 Billion and the Manufacturing sector with PhP 24.127 Billion and these will be located in Regions IV, VII, and NCR.

Confident for Philippines’ competitiveness amidst the challenges of pandemic, Plaza said “PEZA remained aggressive to attract both local and foreign investors even during the pandemic. We did not let this crisis to hostage us; rather, we create various opportunities to continue our mandate.”

With this, Plaza assured that “We will constantly perform our best to attract investors to the country. We still have two months left this year, and there’s still a lot to happen. Let’s continue to have a positive outlook as we unite in reviving our economy.”