About 2,634 companies or about 85 percent resumed operations in economic zones, according to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.
PEZA director-general Charito Plaza the establishments had an active workforce of 1,181,115 million as of early September.
“Among the companies, 77 percent of the IT-BPO sector are now operating while in the manufacturing sector, 91 percent are already operational,” Plaza said.
The Mactan Export Processing Zone Chamber of Exporters and Manufacturers Inc. said companies and their supply chain partners made efforts to continue operations during the quarantine period despite incurring huge losses.
Plaza said PEZA’s ecozone locators were the ones helping to keep the economy afloat by ensuring their continuous operations and sustaining the creation of jobs, livelihood and other economic opportunities.
“Their operations helped to continuously earn export income for the country, which strengthened the value of the peso with the reduction of the domestic importation,” she said.
“In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is just as important to retain existing incentives, investments and jobs to create and attract new investments and jobs. Let us think globally while acting locally,” Plaza said.
PEZA reiterated its appeal to Congress for the retention and enhancement of the current fiscal and non-fiscal incentives.
“The disastrous effects of the pandemic to our economy supports the position of PEZA all along for the continued grant of incentives under Republic Act No. 7916, or the Special Economic Zone Act, as amended and at the same time its further enhancement to make the country more competitive, to keep the existing investors and to attract more foreign investments,” said Plaza.
Plaza said the fiscal incentives of PEZA proved to be globally competitive, tested and tried to continually attract exporters and ecozone developers over the years. These incentives compensated for the high cost of doing business in the Philippines, she said.
“With the global pandemic, we need to do enhance our incentives to make it more attractive for getting investors who are moving out of other countries like China,” she said.