MAKATI CITY — The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) is moving closer to hitting its investments target for 2023 as it approves P698 Billion worth of investments composed of 155 projects for the first half of 2023. This is a 203 percent-growth from last year’s P230 Billion for the same period. 

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual, returning from the European Investment Roadshow, reaffirms his commitment to position the Philippines as the top investment destination of choice in the region. “The Philippines is poised to become Asia’s premier investment destination. The signs are emerging. Foreign investment pledges are at a record high,” he said. Notably, foreign investments approvals of BOI accounted for 60 percent of the total approvals equivalent to Php423 Billion, a 52-fold increase from just P7.89 Billion in the first half of 2022. Domestic investment nods, at Php275 billion, also rose 24 percent from P222 Billion last year.

The bulk of foreign capital came from Germany at Php393 billion, followed by Singapore (Php16.8 billion), the Netherlands (Php3.57 billion), France (Php2.04 billion), and the United States (Php1.9 billion). 

In terms of regional dispersion, investments in Western Visayas ranked first at Php306 billion, with CALABARZON taking up second place at Php164 billion. Further, Ilocos Region (Php55.5 billion), Central Luzon (Php28.7 billion), and National Capital Region (NCR) (Php25.6 billion) completed the top five regions. 

The renewable energy/power sector made up the bulk (76.83%) of total investment approvals, with 30 projects in solar, wind, hydropower, and biomass projects totaling to Php536.5 billion. Information and Technology projects are likewise on the upswing with 8 projects worth Php95.5 billion in approvals, mostly to finance telecommunication towers and the ITBPM sector.  There were also 5 Transportation and storage projects (Php21.3 billion) that came in, as well as 21 projects in manufacturing (Php16.1 billion) and 11 in agriculture (Php6.4 billion). 

A notable project approved, just this June, is Filipino-owned ISON Tower’s Php58.7 billion telco project. ISON Tower will build and operate 4,600 Build-to-Suit (BTS) towers (Ground Based Towers and Roof Top Towers) and offer tower sharing services for MNOs (Mobile Network Operators). The increase in telecommunications infrastructure in unserved/underserved areas will provide more Filipinos access to the internet. With more infrastructure in place, there may be lower operating costs for MNOs which would ideally lower the charges passed to consumers. 

The BOI anticipates a continuous influx of investments throughout 2023, building upon the momentum of the first semester. 

“The increasing number of investments approvals reflect the growing attractiveness of the Philippines as an investment destination and highlights the country’s potential for further economic growth and development. The successful and speedy implementation of investments means more stable and higher-paying jobs for Filipinos without unnecessary delays,” added Secretary Pascual. 

With significant measures taken by the Government to significantly improve ease of doing business in the country, the Philippines is certain to become a compelling destination for foreign direct investments.   

On 13 July 2023, in a BOI-hosted event in Pasay City, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. together with DTI Secretary Fred Pascual launched Executive Order No. 18 (E.O.18) Constituting Green Lanes for Strategic Investments, which is meant to expedite, streamline, and automate government approval and registration processes for priority or strategic investments. 

The BOI continues to target investment projects that will strengthen the country’s position as a regional hub for sustainability-, connectivity-, and innovation-driven manufacturing and services, as it pursues in making its PhP1.5 Trillion target in investments approval happen in 2023. ♦

Date of release: 18 July 2023