Peza misses goal as pledges rose only 8.89% to P238B | Inquirer Business
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Peza misses goal as pledges rose only 8.89% to P238B

/ 05:26 AM January 01, 2018

Peza Director General Charito Plaza

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) failed to reach its ambitious target in investment pledges for this year despite reporting a single-digit growth from 2016, data showed.

Earlier this year, Peza Director General Charito Plaza had set a yearend growth target of 200 to 300 percent, wanting to close 2017 with at least P654.54 billion or at most P872.72 billion worth of pledges.

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This would have been a drastic improvement from 2016 when pledges fell 26 percent mainly due to political uncertainty both here and abroad.

However, pledges fell short of expectations a year after, a shortcoming which Plaza attributed to certain “hindrances.”

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In a briefing on Friday, Plaza said the agency closed the year with P237.57 billion worth of pledges, an 8.89-percent improvement from last year’s P218.18 billion.

Moving forward, she said that Peza would be “very conservative” in its target for 2018, wherein pledges are only expected to grow at least 10 percent.

A number of issues have hounded Peza this 2017. Asked to comment on the missed target, she mentioned a list of concerns from the tax reform program to US President Trump’s protectionist rhetoric.

“That’s how you [set an ambitious target]. You go to the highest [value]. You need to have a fighting target. But it was hampered by the fate of the tax reform for business process outsourcing (BPO) firms, the delay in presidential proclamation of new economic zones and Trump’s protectionism [among others],” she said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Around 65 percent of this year’s pledges were attributed to commitments to develop new economic zones.

Investment pledges made by BPO firms, on the other hand, fell more than 48 percent, reversing the little recovery the industry made this year in terms of new pledges. Total pledges amounted to P15.56 billion, a substantial decrease from last year’s P30.44 billion.

There were no yearend figures yet for exports and direct employment. As of October, Peza-registered companies exported $42.39 billion worth of products, an increase of 8.9 percent.

Once operational, the registered projects for the first 10 months would create 1.4 million jobs, 5.79 percent more than in the same period last year.

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