Investment commitments jumped 402 percent in the first two months to P131.6 billion from P26.19 billion a year ago amid strong investor confidence in the economy, the Board of Investments said Monday.
Trade Secretary and BoI chairman Ramon Lopez attributed the exceptional performance to the sound policies of the government and the strong investor sentiment that continued to fuel the economic growth momentum.
“Barely two months in the new year, we’re off to a blazing start and given the momentum, we will continue to roll for the rest of the year and hit our target of P680 billion, which is up 10 percent from the record-breaking figure from 2017,” Lopez said.
“There were so many prospects late last year that after seeing the unprecedented growth, they finally decided to roll out new investments and other firms remain bullish with their expansion to take advantage of the expansive economy,” he said.
Lopez said these projects were riding on the growth momentum to continue this year after the agency posted a record P617 billion in committed investments last year.
Trade Undersecretary and BoI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said most approvals were related to growing demand for infrastructure in support of the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program.
“The power requirements are enormous and so are the construction part which leads to more cement production and the expansion of transport facilities,” he said.
The biggest project approvals in February came from power, cement and air transportation sectors.
Five solar-power projects of Solar Philippine Commercial Rooftop Projects worth over P60 billion were given the green light to dramatically reduce the cost of power and reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels in the long-term.
Another major investor is the Ionic Cementworks Industries Inc. which is putting up a P12-billion cement plant in Pagbilao, Quezon while Metro Iloilo Hospital and Medical Center Inc. is building a P620-million hospital in Jaro, Iloilo.
The BoI also approved Mabuhay Maritime Express Transport Inc.’s application to operate as a domestic shipping operator of high-speed passenger ship with a project cost of P602 million to service the Kalibo-Boracay, Aklan route.
“Our policy has always been to ensure the migration of investments from the National Capital Region to the other regions. This is a deliberate policy to ensure that growth is inclusive,” Lopez said.
Central Luzon topped all regions with P61 billion in investment approvals, up 4,778 percent from P1.2 billion in the same period last year.
Calabarzon placed second with P45.8 billion, up 134 percent from P19.6 billion in 2017. Coming in third was the Davao region (Region XI) with P13.8 billion, up nearly 18,000 percent from P77 million a year ago.
Renewable energy/power projects hit P87.7 billion, an increase of 4,178 percent from the same months last year. It accounted for 67 percent of the aggregate investment figure in the first two months.
Coming in second was the water supply, sewerage and waste management industry with P13.8 billion in project approvals. Manufacturing placed third with P12.7 billion in committed investments.