September 12, 2019
INVESTMENT pledges approved by the Board of Investments (BoI) leaped by 126.1 percent to P609.04 billion in the first eight months of 2019 from P269.3 billion in the same period last year.
In a statement on Wednesday, the BoI said domestic investments accounted for P404.5 billion of the total, while foreign investments worth P204.5 billion accounted for a third of it.
Singapore remained the top source of investment pledges with P170 billion. The Netherlands followed with P9.2 billion; Thailand, P8.6 billion; Japan, P6 billion; and the United States, P2.4 billion.
The number of jobs projected to be generated from these investments is 37,524, up 30.5 percent from the year-ago’s 28,743.
As inflation eases, Trade Secretary and BoI Chairman Ramon Lopez said, the country has greater stability and flexibility as exports continue to grow in some markets.
“Even our manufacturing sector is expected to weather the downward trend that has affected most countries as BoI approvals [for] the manufacturing sector surged to P62.9 billion, a 189.2-percent increase from just P21.7 billion in January-to-August 2018,” he said.
Investment pledges for the information and communication sector grew to P308.8 billion from last year’s P340 million, while those for power projects rose by 50.5 percent to P195.1 billion from P129.6 billion.
Investments in the tourism accommodation sector amounted to P9.2 billion, while those in the human health and social work segment increased by 69.7 percent to P2.3 billion from P1.3 billion in 2018.
For August alone, investment pledges jumped to P296.2 billion from P17 billion a year ago.
“The August figure of investment approvals nearly matches [the] investments approved for the first seven months of 2019, amounting to P312.8 billion,” Lopez said.
“This shows [that] big-ticket projects have begun to roll in and proves that the Philippine economy remains resilient in attracting investors despite the global slowdown,” he added.
Notable projects approved in the period include the infrastructure project of ISOC Asia Telecom Towers Inc. that would build 25,000 cellular towers worth P141.1 billion; the three-phase project of Philippines Fiber Optic Cable Network Ltd. Inc. covering around 60,000 kilometers for an aggregate cost of P134.5 billion; and the P16.7-billion cement facility of Republic Cement and Building Materials Inc. in Rizal province.
BoI is confident that it would be able to meet its P1-trillion investment target for this year.
“We are still on track to meet our yearend targets. We still have pending big-ticket projects that need to be thoroughly studied and evaluated,” Trade Undersecretary and BoI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said.
“With four months remaining, we have to ensure that those who got the nod are deserving of the tax incentives and translate to more job opportunities for our countrymen,” he added.
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