Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Charito Plaza targets a 5 to 10-percent growth in investment pledges this year after the agency recorded a decline in approvals in 2019.
Plaza said there are big-ticket projects that are applying for incentives in PEZA, such as China’s Panhua Integrated Steel Industry and Canada’s North Star Argo Industrial Company which is looking for agricultural economic zones for cacao, avocado, mango, and raspberry plantation.
“There are many pending applications for expansions of existing locators and new investments who are waiting for CITIRA (Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act) that will be passed,” she said in a text message to reporters over the weekend.
Plaza added investment pledges could still head higher than this year’s target if an investor-friendly CITIRA is passed.
In 2019, investment approvals in PEZA declined by 16 percent to PHP117.54 billion from PHP140.24 billion in 2018.
Number of projects registered with PEZA went up by 2.1 percent to 540 projects last year from 529 projects a year ago.
In a speaking engagement last week, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said he hoped to see the CITIRA to be passed into law by March.
Under the CITIRA, the government aims to rationalize fiscal incentives in all investment promotion agencies in the country. It will reduce corporate income tax to 20 percent from the current 30 percent over 10 years. (PNA)