The Philippines continues to have strong investment performance in the first quarter of 2021, which is somewhat an offshoot of the country’s surprisingly good showing in that area last year amid the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Sec. Ramon Lopez, in his presentation during President Duterte’s televised address to the nation Wednesday night, March 24, said approved investments from January 1 to March 19, 2021 totalled P137 billion.
“Tumaas po ng (It increased by) 64.65 percent versus last year,” Lopez pointed out. Apprpved investments during the same period last year reached P83 billion.
The Cabinet official’s data, sourced from the Board of Investments, also bared that 12,013 jobs were generated during the period, compared to the 10,605 produced last year. This shows an increase of 13.28 percent.
“Ang investment po na nag-register sa Board of Investments, tuloy pa rin po ang paglaki (The investments registered with the Board of Investments continue to grow), despite this pandemic,” Lopez noted.
He recalled that last year’s total approved investments of P1.02 trillion was the second highest ever, next only to the record P1.14 trillion achieved in 2019 when then Philippine economy was supposedly at its strongest.
“In January to December 2020, despite the pandemic, we still reached a trillion level,” underscored Lopez.
The target for approved investments this year is P1.25 trillion, or over 27 percent of the P4.506-trillion 2021 national budget.
The Philippines has one of the longest lockdowns in the world in connection with efforts to contain COVID-19.