By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The Board of Investments (BOI) scapped the year with another record-breaking P907.2-billion new investment commitments, surpassing by a wide margin the P616.8- billion record in 2017.
Encouraged by this unprecedented growth in investment commitments, BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo said it is but inevitable to aim for the trillion mark in 2019.
“Given the epic surge in investments for 2018, it is but inevitable to aim for another historic milestone — the trillion mark next year. We are confident of hitting yet another growth in investment registrations next year with the impending entry of big-ticket projects as concrete fruits of the Administration’s investment roadshows,” said Rodolfo.
The unprecedented investment approval was 47.1 percent than 2017. The registered investment pledges represent the project costs of projects registered by the agency.
“We hit another record-breaking investment in BOI’s 51-year history, beating the P617 billion in 2017 by a wide margin,” said Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez.
“This new historic mark breezing past last year’s record figure not only reaffirms but further strengthens investor confidence under the Duterte administration. We were initially expecting to at least attain our target of P680 billion for the year, instead we were able to more than double the P442-billion investments level in 2016,” said Lopez.
According to Lopez, the 2018 investment surge was led by the manufacturing sector which rose more than four-fold to P409.3 billion from just P96 billion last year.
Lopez also mentioned the other strong performers which include the transportation and storage that surged 626 percent to P129.6 billion from just P17.8 billion in 2017, the water and sewerage sector with an exponential 1,494 percent increase to P14.3 billion from P894.4 million a year ago, the retailing sector with P8.1 billion from P2.7 billion and the accommodation sector with P39.9 billion from P11.3 billion.
“The surge in investments in these sectors is important as it helps build a much larger production capacity for the future that will create more jobs for Filipinos as well as reduce the country’s trade balance with more import substitution and greater export capacities,” Lopez added.
“More important than the record-breaking investment level is the strategic importance of these approved projects,” said Lopez.
Lopez stressed that once the new investments come on stream, these will result in industrial empowerment, particularly with the upstream and heavy industrial projects that will allow the expansion of our capability to manufacture finished goods currently not produced in the country.
“Together with the investments in key logistics, infrastructure and power projects including LNG terminals, these approved projects will strengthen the local industrial production base as it impacts on improving the general level of competitiveness of Philippine industries and pushing development to the regions,” he said.
“Equally significant is the positive effect of these projects in addressing the problem of widening trade deficit. As the country continues to grow, demand for industrial products increases. Currently, for certain key categories, demands are mainly met through imports. The agency firmly believes that the best trade strategy is a robust industrial development policy. In addition, BOI also approved projects critical to addressing social issues — including housing and availability of health services. Special attention was also given to enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of agricultural commodities, for instance through Triple A slaughterhouses as well as modern cold-chain facilities,” said Lopez.