THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) approved a total of over P295-billion worth of investments in 2015, reflecting a 5.58-percent increase from P279.48 in 2014, PEZA Director General Lilia de Lima said in a press conference on Thursday.
According to De Lima, the new investments are into manufacturing and electronics and Information Technology Centers (ITC) projects.
ITC projects include those of the Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing companies.
As of May 31, 2015, IT Centers and Parks have the most number of economic zones in the country at 216.
The manufacturing sector comes in second with a total of 68 economic zones, followed by agro-industrial firms with 21 economic zones, then tourism with 19, and medical tourism with just two zones—St. Luke’s Medical Center in Global City, Taguig and Saint Frances Cabrini Medical Tourism Park in Batangas.
De Lima said PEZA approved a total of 598 projects last year.
For the first 10 months of 2015, direct employment in PEZA economic zones rose to 1.243 million, adding over 89,000 jobs or an increase of 7.73 percent from 1.153 million jobs in the same period in 2014.
Exports from PEZA zones were slightly down by negative 0.55 percent at $36.633 billion from $36.839 billion in the first 10 months of 2014.
De Lima said PEZA is still collating data from the companies for the last two months of 2015.
“The figure of exports is still good because we have two months more need to count,” she said. “We expect for next year a very conservative projection of 5 to 5.5 percent increase for [investments, direct employment, and exports].”
PEZA contributes about 70 percent of the country’s total exports.