MANILA, Philippines – Pledges approved by the Board of Investments (BOI) in the first 4 months of 2019 amounted to P286.7 billion, 46.5% higher from the same period a year ago.
In an embargoed report released on Friday, May 3, BOI reported that domestic investments still took up bulk of the total pledges at P219.7 billion, 14% higher in a year-on-year comparison.
Foreign investments, however, posted a faster growth from P2.9 billion in the first 4 months of 2018 to P66.9 billion this year. (READ: BOI-approved investments in Q1 up by 60%)
Bulk of foreign investments from January to April came from Singapore at P35.4 billion, 8.53% lower from a year ago. The Netherlands and Thailand came in second and third at P9.1 billion and P8.5 billion, respectively.
Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez in a statement said that aside from foreign investors continuing to enter the Philippines, domestic investors also “remain upbeat as domestic capital continued its steady growth.”
The BOI targets to approve P1 trillion worth of investments in 2019.
Lopez also noted the improving business climate after the Asian Development Bank forecast the Philippines as one of the fastest growing economy in Southeast Asia and Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings upgraded the Philippines’ credit rating to BBB+, the highest score the country received so far.
Most of the investments were also directed to power projects which saw approvals rise by 78% to P185.4 billion from a year ago. Manufacturing sector followed as the second largest recipient of investments at P44.6 billion, 181% higher from a comparative period in 2018.
BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo in the statement also said that successive renewable power projects were approved by the agency as part of the government’s “commitment to ‘clean and green’ infrastructure systems.”
Among notable power projects were Vires Energy Corporation’s 506 megawatt (MW) natural gas power plant in Batangas City with P35.2 billion, Cagayan Biomass Energy Corporation’s 15 MW biomass plant in Isabela, and Philippine Geothermal Production Company, Incorporated’s P1 billion geothermal project in Albay and Camarines Sur.
The BOI also reported that the information and technology sector saw the fastest growth in investments from P340 million last year to P33.2 billion.
Among the regions, Calabarzon took most of the investments in the January to April period at P198 billion, followed by Central Luzon at P26.7 billion.
The National Capital Region and Central Visayas came in third and fourth at P7.9 billion and P5.7 billion, respectively. Cagayan Valley reached fifth place, having received P4.3 billion in pledges. – Rappler.com