Trade Secretary and Board of Investments (BOI)Chairman Ramon Lopez announced that cumulative approved investments recorded by the BOI from January to April 2019 hit Php286.7 billion, a 46.5 percent jump from the same period last year where it posted Php195.7 billion.

Approved foreign investments continued its tremendous growth through the period with a 2,224 percent surge to Php66.9 billion from just Php2.9 billion in January to April 2018. Meanwhile, investments from domestic sources continued its upward trend with a 14 percent growth to PHp219.7 billion compared to Php192.8 billion a year ago.

Singapore is the biggest foreign investor to date with Php35.4 billion, from just Php38.7 million a year ago. Netherlands placed second with Php9.1 billion, with Thailand coming in third with Php8.5 billion. Japan (Php5.5 billion) and the United States (Php2.2 billion) completed the top five.

“Foreign investors remain confident in the country’s business prospects as foreign capital continue to surge in the country while domestic investors remain upbeat as domestic capital continued its steady growth,” Secretary Lopez said.

He added that “especially with the Philippines’ recent credit rating upgrade from S&P Global, even the Asian Development Bank now foresees that the Philippines has the second fastest-growing economy in South East Asia.” In 2018, the country was the third fastest growing major economy in the region next to China and Vietnam.

Power projects continued their dominance through April with Php185.4 billion in approvals, up 78 percent from Php104.3 billion in the same period last year. Manufacturing is also surging ahead with Php44.6 billion, up 181 percent from just Php15.9 billion in 2018. The information and communication sector posted agrowth of 9,669 percent to Php33.2 billion, from a mere Php340 million a year ago. The accommodation and food service sector also grew to Php8.4 billion, a 733 percent increase from Php1 billion in 2018.

“With the government’s commitment to “clean and green” infrastructure systems, successive renewable power projects were approved by the BOI,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Ceferino Rodolfo said.

He identified these as the Php35.2 billion 506 megawatt (MW) natural gas power plant of Vires Energy Corporation in Batangas City, the 15 MW biomass plant of Cagayan Biomass Energy Corporation in Isabela and the Php1 billion geothermal source of Philippine Geothermal Production Company, Inc. in several towns in Albay and Camarines Sur. He added that these projects underwent due diligence and endorsements by the Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) before Board approval and tax incentives cannot be availed if they are unable to comply with the terms and conditions set by the Board.

In regional terms, Region IVA – Calabarzon got the lion’s share with Php198 billion in investments. Region III – Central Luzon placed runner-up with Php26.7 billion. National Capital Region is third with Php7.9 billion with Region VII- Central Visayas (Php5.7 billion) and Region II – Cagayan Valley (Php4.3 billion) from behind.

“I join the economic managers in attributing all these very positive economic developments, including the continued surge of BOI investment approvals in priority and strategic sectors, to the steadfast implementation of the 10-point economic agenda of President Rodrigo R. Duterte,” highlighted Secretary Lopez.♦

Date of release: 03 May 2019