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Peza says investments in first 6 months surged 71% to P120B

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Peza says investments in first 6 months surged 71% to P120B

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) reported an increase in new investments of more than 71 percent in the first semester of the year to P120 billion.

According to Peza’s data, new investments from January to June reached P120.22 billion. Although no comparative figure was given, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that pledges in the first semester of 2016 reached P70.03 billion, bringing Peza’s current year-to-date growth to 71.66 percent.

Peza did not provide a breakdown of the latest growth figures. The government agency has not replied to requests for comment as of press time.

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Led by Peza Director General Charito Plaza, the agency has been reporting an increase in total new investments since the start of the year, attributing a significantly large chunk of the growth to the development of new economic zones.

Prior to this, Peza reported a 98.14-percent growth in new investments for the January-to-May period to P107.75 billion from P54.38 billion previously, wherein half of the total value of pledges were due to bids to construct new economic zones.

Also in the same first five months, investments in the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry declined nearly 35 percent to 7.1 billion from P10.88 billion in the January-to-May period in 2016—a drop Peza attributed to political uncertainty both here and abroad.

It remains to be seen if new investments in the IT-BPM industry recovered during the first semester especially since Peza accounted for most IT-BPM investments when compared to other investment-promotion agencies.

Plaza previously said that she was targeting a yearend increase of 200-300 percent because of a promising first-quarter growth.

Peza ended 2016 with P218.18 billion worth of investment pledges. With a growth target of 200 to 300 percent, Peza aims to finish with at least P654.54 billion and even as much as P872.72 billion.

A string of issues is currently surrounding Peza in spite of its current growth trajectory. As of last week, Peza said there were still 46 pending new economic zones awaiting for the needed presidential proclamation in Malacañang.

On top of this, there is also the issue on the comprehensive tax reform program. The first package of the program, passed in the House of Representatives as House Bill 5636, would eventually remove the value-added tax (VAT) exemption currently provided to local suppliers of export-oriented companies such as the IT-BPM members, replacing it with a 12-percent VAT of gross receipts.

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Plaza warned that the move would force Peza-registered companies to import instead, depriving the country of as much as P250 billion worth of local purchases annually.

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TAGS: Director General Charito Plaza, Investments, Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza)
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