While investments from foreign sources approved by the Board of Investments (BOI) from January – February 2019 still grew 1,456 % compared with the same period last year, total approved levels (including from domestic investors) saw a decline of 23%.

Approved foreign investments for the said period reached Php10.926 B, compared with the Php702.28 M generated in January – February 2018. For total investments, however, approved foreign and domestic investments combined reached only Php101.72 B, lower than the Php131.61 B posted in the first two months last year.

Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo explained that: “We have key projects in the pipeline, particular in area of power, that are still undergoing BOI’s rigorous evaluation process on technical and financial aspects; and equally important, on their compliance with requirements for BOI registration. Given the projected investment costs, we are very optimistic of a renewed surge in total approvals in the next months.”

The top performing sectors in the first two months of the year include power projects (Php49.42 B); information and communication (Php33.14 B); manufacturing (Php12.93 B); real estate (Php2.15 B); and human health/hospitals (Php1.82 B).

Regions IVA topped the list of investment destinations with total approvals worth Php60.934 B, followed by Region VII (Php2.008 B), Region VIII (Php970 M), Region III (836.62 M), and Region VI (Php824.82 M). The top five regions generated a total of Php65.57 B worth of approved investments or a 65 % share to total while the Php36.15 B or 35 % share were directed to the rest of the regions.

Rodolfo added: “We remain optimistic of meeting the Php1 trillion target set by our Chairman, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, for BOI this year. It is a timing issue as we cannot and we do not rush project approvals. The BOI makes sure that every peso of approved investments is qualified and is deserving to be registered.”♦

Date of Release: 28 March 2019