Cumulative investments recorded by the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) reached P764.7 B as of September 2019, increasing more than two-fold (10%) in comparison with P372.9 B approved in the same period of the previous year.

The sustained high growth of investments is a proof of the business sector’s strong confidence in both the Philippines’ economic fundamentals as further shown by the acceleration of the third quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth to 6.2% and the reform agenda of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon M. Lopez said.

Approved investments from domestic sources topped P524.9 B, a 54.7 % increase from P339.3 B in the same frame in 2018. On the other hand, approved projects by foreign investors amounted to P239.9 B which is more than a seven-fold surge (613 %) from just P33.6 B a year ago.

Singapore continues to set the pace among all foreign entities with P170 B in capital. South Korea is now second with P34.1 B. Netherlands places third with P9.2 B. Thailand (P8.6 B), Japan (P6 B) and the United States (Php2.4 B) are also among the biggest foreign investors for this period.

Overall, investments outside the National Capital Region accounted for 98.2 % of the total of P750.9 B. All projects once operational will generate an employment of 41,862, which is 38.5 % higher than last year’s figure of 30,218. For the month of September alone, P155.7 B worth of projects were approved, a 50.3 % jump from just P103.6 B in September 2018.

“We are particularly pleased to highlight that the share of foreign investments in BOI projects have increased from just 8 % during January to September 2018, to already 31.4 % this year,” Lopez added. This is expected to continue as Lopez noted that President Duterte’s policy of furthering relations with non-traditional partners has been yielding results.

For example, the recent visit of a Russian Trade delegation in the country and President Duterte’s second official visit to Russia will pave the way for more business opportunities and closer economic cooperation for both countries. Some of the biggest Russian companies have express interest in investing in the Philippines, led by Russian Deputy Minister Aleksey Gruzdev.

“Investments from the information and communications technology (ICT) and power sectors accounted for 85 % of the total figure or P652.9 B. This massive infrastructure buildup for more power and connectivity across the archipelago is critical towards addressing binding constraints to the Philippines’ competitiveness. The development also complement the consistent growth of the manufacturing sector with P63.5 B in approvals or a massive 190 % growth from just P21.9 B last year,” stated Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo.

“Growth in the tourism sector also continues to shine with P9.5 B worth of hotel and accommodation projects, a nearly seven-fold increase from just P1.2 B in the same period last year. Tourism is among the biggest job creators in our country along with manufacturing. With the innovative advocacy campaigns of the Department of Tourism, the Philippines experience an overwhelming surge of domestic tourists which reached over 110 M in 2018 and already exceeded the 89.2 M target by 2022 as stated in the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP). So we look forward to the coming years for a tourism boom with the recent announcement of a well-known brand (Marriot) to triple its portfolio by building 21 more hotels and the aggressive expansion of more affordable hotels (like RedDoorz) in the country,” Rodolfo said further.

Among the regions, CALABARZON (Region IVA) is still on top with P354 B in investment approvals. Region III – Central Luzon is runner-up with P42.4 B. NCR placed third (P13.8 B) or just 1.8 % of the total investments. Region VII – Central Visayas (P10.1 B) and Region II – Cagayan Valley (P10.05 B) are also among the top regional performers.

Orion Pacific Prime Energy Inc.’s 1200 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Quezon province is the biggest approved project for the month. Other notables include Petron Corporation’s 10.9 B solid fuel-fired power plant in Bataan, 6 Barracuda Energy Corp.’s P7.6 B wind power project in Northern Samar, Cebu Air’s P1.7 B operational lease of Airbus A320 NEO plane, Cavite Gateway Terminal Inc.’s P1.35 B seaport terminal and Starlite Gallant Ferries, Inc’s P1.1 B domestic shipping project with homewharf at Batangas City and to service the Cebu-Cagayan de Oro-Cebu routes.♦

Date of Release: 8 November 2019