The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has approved a total of PHP140.24 billion worth of investments in 2018, the agency reported.
According to PEZA, investment pledges last year dropped 40.97 percent from PHP237.57 billion.
Value of investment commitments decline after the number of projects registered with PEZA also decreased by 4.51 percent from 554 projects in 2017 to 529 projects in the previous year.
“The drop is for new investments caused by the uncertainties of change of policies,” PEZA Director General Charito Plaza said, as she clarified that existing locators were not pulling out their investments in the country.
“New investments dropped also because of the forthcoming election where the next Congress might change again the policies,” she explained further.
Despite the decline in investment pledges, investment approvals by PEZA has continued to create jobs for Filipinos.
As of October 2018, jobs within PEZA-registered economic zones increased by 7.33 percent with nearly 1.5 million jobs compared to 1.4 million jobs at end-October 2017.
Export revenues of PEZA locators grew by 6.58 percent as of October 2018 to USD45.18 billion from USD42.39 billion revenues in the same period in 2017.
Meanwhile, investments in the sector of information technology (IT) improved by 32.2 percent in 2018 amounting to PHP25.56 billion from PHP15.56 billion in 2017.
A total of 188 IT projects were registered with PEZA last year.
Number jobs also rose 8.05 percent to 733,479 in 2018 from its previous count of 678,799 jobs at end-2017.
Export revenues of IT and business process outsourcing firms registered with PEZA increased by 9.33 percent to USD9.82 billion in 2018 from USD8.98 billion in 2017.