By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The year 2018 was off to a good start with investment commitments approved by the Board of Investments (BOI) in the first month of the year grew more than six-fold or a 538 percent more to P51.3 billion from the P8 billion recorded in January, 2017.
In a statement, the BOI reported that renewable energy projects take up the bulk of investments for January 2018 with P27.43 billion followed by water supply and distribution with P13.87 billion.
The manufacturing sector got a sizeable infusion with P37.29 million worth of projects registered for the month.
The biggest project approved for January was the P13.3-billion bulk water supply of APO Agua Infrastructura, Inc. in Davao City.
Other notable projects are the three solar facilities of Solar Philippines Commercial Rooftop Projects, Inc., two in Cavite and one in Nueva Ecija, with a combined cost of P25.9 billion. These renewable energy projects will have a total power capacity of 587 megawatts (MW) when operational.
Meanwhile, Cleangreen Energy Corp. is also constructing its 12 MW biomass energy plant worth P1.5 billion in Bulacan.
Low-cost housing developer, 8990 Housing Development Corp., meanwhile, is building a housing project worth P2.2 billion in Bulacan, while Eisberg Cold Logistics is putting up a P1.4-billion integrated cold chain facility in Caloocan City.
“This reflects the strong confidence on the Duterte administration and all the positive reforms and programs being undertaken that created a sustainable growth momentum moving forward. This is the economic breakout we have been working for,” said Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez, who is also chairman of the BOI.
Coming off from a record-breaking P617 billion in investment approvals last year, Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo meanwhile expressed confidence that the agency can achieve its year-end target of P680 billion, a 10 percent upswing from last year’s unprecedented figure.
Regional dispersal of investments, as recorded in 2017, has become a continuing trend at the start of the year as most of the investment projects are in the provinces. Cavite is the top recipient of projects with six totaling P17.9 billion and Davao City as the second with two projects with a combined investment of P13.6 billion.
Nueva Ecija with its sole P8.6-billion solar project places third. These areas account for 78 percent of the total approved project for January.