Total investments approved by the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) posted a 60 percent increase for the first quarter of 2019, reaching Php243 billion, compared with the Php152.1 billion posted for the same period last year. This marks a solid recovery from the 23 percent decline for the January to February period.
Of these, investments from foreign sources continued to lead in terms of growth rate with a jump of 3,787 percent, from only Php792.8 million in the first quarter last year to Php30.8 billion this year. In terms of actual levels however, domestic investments still contribute the largest share with Php212.2 billion for a 40 percent increase from last year’s Php151.3 billion.
“After generating a record-breaking Php915 billion in approved investments last year, we are still sustaining the momentum this year due to steady,strong and positive investor sentiment here and abroad. The upside trajectory for approved foreign investments continues to surge, following the 378 percent increase recorded in 2018 which saw FDIs approved by BOI reaching Php104 billion from just Php21.7 billion in 2017. We expect the growth to continue for the rest of the year as we aim to approve at least Php1 trillion in total investments,” Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez said.
Electricity and power projects dominated the majority of investments for the first three months of year with Php148 billion worth of investment projects. Manufacturing investment projects are also growing with Php43 billion worth of investment projects approved, followed by information and communications technology with Php33.2 billion worth of investment projects.
Among the notable projects approved for the first quarter of the year are: St. Raphael Power Generation Corporation, a new operator of 2×350 megawatt coal-fired thermal power plant in Barangay San Rafael, Calaca, Batangas (Php96 billion); Rizal Wind Energy Corporation, a renewable energy developer of wind energy resources in Antipolo and Tanay Rizal and General Nakar, Quezon (Php47 billion); Metroworks ICT Construction Incorporated, a new operator of telecommunications infrastructure (Php33 billion); Holcim Philippines Incorporated, a new producer of cement in Barangays Matictic and Bangkal in Norzagaray, Bulacan and Barangay Bayabas in Dona Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan (Php12.6 billion); Solid Cement Corporation, a new producer of cement in San Jose, Antipolo City (Php12.4 billion); United Pulp and Paper Company Incorporated, a new producer of corrugated medium in Calumpit, Bulacan (Php8.4 billion); Nidec Subic Philippines Corporation, a new export producer of industrial robotic gears in Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Olongapo City, Zambales; and Robinsons Land Corporation, a new operator of tourist accommodation facility in LapuLapu City, Cebu (Php2.3 billion).
Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Ceferino Rodolfo emphasized the stringent evaluation process these projects undergo, prior to extensive deliberations when these are taken-up by the BOI Board of Governors for decision. “For the power projects for instance, aside from technical and financial assessment and demand gap evaluation, we require positive official endorsement by the Departments of Energy and of the Environment and Natural Resources. We also require the proponents to commit to emission standards which are very much stricter than local and international requirements. Failure to meet these commitments would mean forfeiture of incentives,” he said.
The Netherlands topped all foreign investors with Php9.1 billion worth of investments. Thailand finished second with Php8.4 billion and Japan placed third with Php5.3 billion worth of investments. The U.S.A. came in at fourth place with Php2.2 billion worth of investments.
Region IVA received Php162 billion of the investments; while Region III came in second place with Php25.9 billion in investments and the National Capital Region came in only as third placer with Php6.1 billion worth of investments.