MANILA, November 12, 2003  (STAR) By Marianne V. Go - Investments in the country’s special economic zone continue to rise despite foreign and local investors’ rising political concerns, the Philippine Export Zone Authority (PEZA) reported yesterday.

Based on PEZA report, total investments that came in from January to October this year went up by nearly eight percent to P22.298 billion from P20.679 billion in the same period last year.

For October alone, total investment inflows rose by a strong 649 percent to $6.286 million from only P839 million in the same period last year.

PEZA said the investments that came in during the 10-month period generated additional employment for 31,796 workers.

Trade and Industry Secretary Manuel Roxas II admitted earlier that investor perception about the country has been adversely affected by the attempted impeachment of Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. and the recent takeover of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) control tower.

"However, the negative effect of the recent developments would not be immediately felt since it takes some time for investors to make their decision," Roxas explained.

More likely, Roxas said, the negative impact would be reflected in next year’s economic figures.

Peso recovers as move to impeach Davide fizzles out The Philippine Star 11/12/2003

The peso recovered yesterday, gaining 19.50 centavos to close at 55.170 from Monday’s close of 55.365 to the dollar as the move to impeach Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. fizzled out, analysts said yesterday.

Earlier, President Arroyo urged the business community to continue its support for the administration.

"We must be able to see through the clouds of doubts to realize our great potentials and I ask the business community to stand beside the government and stay the course with us," Mrs. Arroyo said.

"We are at the threshold of national strength and renewal and we should not lose the opportunities that come with it," the President added.

At the Philippine Dealing System (PDS), the peso opened strong at 55.240 before hitting a high of 55.110 and a low of 55.265 to $1.

Trading at the PDS was brisk with total volume reaching $240.60 million, slightly higher than Monday’s volume of $203.50 million.

The President said the recent weakness of the peso against the dollar was just temporary as the market reacts to the spate of recent negative developments that hounded the political front.

"We must build confidence in our political and economic strength by demonstrating unswerving focus on basic issues and concerns such as law and order, poverty alleviation, macroeconomic stability and peace building," the President stressed. – Marichu Villanueva

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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