By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Total approved investments recorded by the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) from January to May 2019 reached P290.6 billion, a 40.1 percent increase from P207.5 billion in the same period last year.
Approved investments from foreign sources continued with its upward trend at P67 billion from P6.9 billion in January to May 2018, meanwhile, domestic investments maintained its steady growth to P223.5 billion from P200.5 billion.
Singapore remains the biggest foreign investor to date with P35.4 billion.
Netherlands is second with P9.1 billion, Thailand placing third with P8.5 billion. Japan (P5.5 billion) and the United States (P2.4 billion) completed the five biggest foreign investors for the period.
“With the Philippine economy up 4 notches to 46th in the latest World Competitive Yearbook rankings, the vote of confidence of the administration affirmed in the May mid-term elections with the resounding victory of most of its candidates and allies, is seen to sustain investor confidence for the Philippines,” Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon M. Lopez said.
He added that the recent visit of President Duterte in Japan will provide added boost to the investment climate as he was able to attract nearly P300 billion in investment deals, business expansion and letter of intents for Japanese firms to channel more capital into the country which are expected to create over 80,000 additional jobs for Filipinos.
Power projects through May 2019 make up the biggest chunk of the aggregate investment figure with P185.4 billion, up 74 percent from P106.5 billion through May in 2018. Manufacturing continues its resurgence with P44.6 billion worth of commitments, up 130.5 percent surge from P19.4 billion last year. The information and communication sector went up exponentially by 9,669 percent to P33.2 billion, from just P340 million in 2018. The tourism accommodation facilities rocketed to P8.4 billion, up 733 percent from P1 billion last year.
“Power projects are essential as it fuels the Build, Build, Build program of the government and the demands of a growing population. There are big power projects that will complement the infrastructure projects in the coming months even as we exercise due diligence for projects that are deserving of incentives. At the end of the day, we have to ensure our power supply will accommodate the strong demand not only of our massive infrastructure projects and population but also the rapid expansion of our industries, lead by the manufacturing sector,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Ceferino Rodolfo said.
He added for the month of May, several manufacturing and service facilities got the nod of the Board. Among these are the P700-million shipping project of Southwest Gallant Ferries, Inc. which will service the Batangas, Romblon and Roxas City routes; the P400-million Cavendish banana facility of Tren2 Agri-Industries in Agusan del Sur which will be exported once operational and eight (8) low-cost housing projects worth P2.0 billion spread across Calabarzon and Central Luzon regions.
Region IVA – Calabarzon remains the top investment destination with P200.9 billion, followed by Region III- Central Luzon (P27.1 billion) and National Capital Region (P7.9 billion). Completing the top five are Region VII – Central Visayas (P5.7 billion) and Region II – Cagayan Valley (P4.4 billion).
“We will continue to spread economic development in the regions as records show barely 3 percent of investments are located in the NCR with the rest (97 percent) going to the countryside,” Rodolfo said.