Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) Director General Charito Plaza said that the registered projects with the investment promotion agency in the first 10 months of the year have reached P72.6 billion.
In her recent speech during the fourth-quarter general membership meeting (GMM) of the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc. (SEIPI), Plaza said Peza’s investment approval from January to October 2020 was 27 percent lower than the P99.3 billion approved projects in the same period in 2019.
These came from 248 projects registered for the period, down by 45 percent from 454 projects last year.
On the other hand, export revenues in the economic zones slightly increased by 0.63 percent to $40.8 billion from January to September 2020 from $40.5 billion in the previous year.
“Despite the pandemic, Peza continuously received expansions and new investments,” Plaza said. “Same with the semiconductor and electronics, which still continue to contribute the biggest export income on commodities and goods.”
Investments from the semiconductor and electronics industry in Peza reached P8.8 billion from January to October 2020, declining by 24.7 percent from its P11.8-billion investments in the same period in 2019.
Exports of Peza-registered semiconductor and electronics firms also slowed down by 8.2 percent at end-September 2020 to $16.7 billion from $18.2 billion in the same period a year ago.
Meanwhile, data from SEIPI show that total electronics industry exports in September 2020 alone reached $3.9 billion, an improvement of 14 percent compared to its previous month.
“The increase in exports and the required raw material imports were due to the gradual easing of the material supply chain disruption and the ramping-up of operations amidst the ongoing pandemic,” SEIPI said in a news statement.
SEIPI President Dan Lachica earlier said the group revised the industry growth forecast for 2020 from -15 percent to -5 percent.
Lachica added 2021 will be a better year for the industry with a projected outlook of 7-percent growth.
This will depend on the outcome of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) bill and availability of the Covid-19 vaccine.
SEIPI Chairman Glenn Everest said there will be emerging technologies post-Covid, which the Philippine semiconductor and electronics industry may look into.
Everest, who is also the vice president and general manager of Continental Temic Electronics (Phils.) Inc., said these emerging technologies include generative design, which is expected to grow by 20 percent by 2025; embedded metrology, seen to increase by 7 percent by 2025; high-speed sintering, with 24-percent growth outlook by 2023; nanotechnology, seen to grow by 17 percent by 2024; and light-based manufacturing, which is expected to increase by 11 percent by 2029. PNA