Investment pledges double in 7 months

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Investment pledges approved by the Board of Investments (BOI) nearly doubled in the first seven months of the year, with the Duterte administration’s push to spread the wealth to the countryside showing progress as regions outside Metro Manila take in bigger portions of the project proposals.

The BOI said investments approved from January to July soared 98 percent to P210.37 billion from the P106.08 billion recorded in the same period last year.

The investment pledges were generated from 192 projects with total estimated job generation of 37,487 expected at full operations.

“While confidence in the economy remains with investments continuing to pour in, the government is pursuing a number of strategic investment policy and promotion initiatives in a bid to further strengthen its efforts in attracting a massive flow of domestic and foreign investments in the country particularly those that would bring in new technology,” Trade Secretary and BOI chairman Ramon Lopez said.

Region 3 received the highest investment pledges worth P44.32 billion, accounting for 21 percent of total.

NCR came in second with committed investments worth P37.05 billion, while significant investments also poured into Region IVA, Region VII, Region XII, Region I, Negros Island Region and CAR.

“Dispersion of investments in the region had changed.  NCR usually receives the highest amount of investments but now, investments are dispersed as other regions take the lead in attracting more investments,” said BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo, adding the majority of the investment pledges came from sectors that will elevate the country’s competitiveness such as power and infrastructure.

Energy projects accounted for 51 percent of total approvals at P108.06 billion.

This was followed by construction projects at P31.9 billion, real estate activities at P26.76 billion, manufacturing at P18.66 billion, and transportation and storage at P13.32 billion.

Singapore topped the list among the foreign country investors with investments worth P9.83 billion, accounting for 27 percent of total approved foreign investments during the period.

Netherlands followed with investments amounting to P7.12 billion, then South Korea with P6.42 billion, Japan with P5.69 billion and British Virgin Islands with P2.02 billion.

Lopez said the agency expects approved investment pledges to further grow on the back of the country’s sound economic fundamentals and sustained investor confidence.

He earlier said investment commitments approved by the agency this year is seen increasing 10 percent, an upgrade from the BOI’s original target growth of five percent.

To achieve its target this year, Lopez said the government will pursue synchronization of the investment promotion efforts of all the investments promotion agencies as well as modernize the current investment incentives regime by proposing amendments to the 1987 Omnibus Investments Code.

“We will be more focused on promoting strategic investments to position the country as a world class investments destination,” Lopez said.

“In granting incentives, we will focus on creating decent jobs in the Philippines. As such, bias against foreign investors and bias against those serving the domestic market will be removed. Further, if the economic provisions of the Constitution will be amended, greater foreign equity in sectors that are crucial to improving the competitiveness of industries such as infrastructure and utilities like telecommunications, roads, ports, and airports, may be allowed,” he added.



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