By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The Board of Investments (BOI), the government’s lead industry development and investment promotion agency, kicked off the year with an impressive 91 percent jump in investment pledges in January.
In a report, BOI said it approved P97.9 billion worth of new investment commitments in January, 91 percent higher than the P51.3 billion in January 2018.
“We are definitely off to a positive start in 2019 and it augurs well for the rest of the year as we aim to cross the uncharted trillion peso mark in investment approval for the whole year,” Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez said.
According to Lopez, power projects, particularly renewables, led the bulk of the approved investment pledges with total investments for the month.
BOI approved the 603-MW Rizal Wind Energy Corp. with P47.35 billion committed project cost. Metroworks ICT Construction Inc. is also investing P33.1 billion for a broadband infrastructure.
With strong demand due to the infrastructure program of the government, Solid Cement Corporation’s P12.5 billion project in Antipolo was also approved.
The building of a new hospital worth P849 million by Allied Care Experts in Dumaguete City gave much needed lift to address health care in the province and its nearby areas, the BOI said.
The BOI also reported that foreign equity contribution to these projects have exponentially increased by 31,903 percent to P10.6 billion in January from just P33.1 million in the same month in 2018.
Netherlands topped all foreign investors, mainly on its P6.848 billion investments in the Solid Cement project.
Japan came in second with P202.1 million and South Korea placed third with P102.4 million.
CALABARZON (Region IVA) is the favorite investment destination with P60.9 billion worth of projects, a 213 percent increase from P19.4 billion in 2018, as a result of the Rizal Wind power project.
Davao Region (Region XI), Mimaropa (IVB) and Cagayan Valley (Region II), completed the top five with approved investments surpassing P500 million each.
Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo noted that the manufacturing industry continued to get its much-needed shot in the arm with the new cement project.
As a result, the manufacturing sector received a sizeable 34,559 percent increase in new investments from a mere P37.3 million in the same month last year.
Rodolfo further said that total investments outside the National Capital Region accounted for almost 100 percent (P97.86 billion) further boosting the dispersal of investments with the capital accounting for only P4 million million.