THE BOARD of Investments (BoI) — the government’s lead investment promotion agency — kick-started 2019 with nearly double January 2018’s approved committed investments in terms of value, as it targets these pledges to pierce the trillion-peso mark this year.
Committed investments the BoI approved in January totaled some P97.9 billion, about 91% more than the P51.3 billion recorded in the same month last year, the agency said in a press release on Monday.
The same comparative months saw foreign investments, which made up a tenth of the total, surge to P10.6 billion from just P33 million and domestic investments, which made up 89%, increase by 70% to P87.2 billion from P51 billion.
The biggest contributors were a P48.4-billion 603-megawatt renewable energy project of Rizal Wind Energy Corp.; Metroworks ICT Construction Inc.’s P33.1-billion broadband infrastructure; Solid Cement Corp.’s P12.5-billion project in Antipolo; and Allied Care Experts’ P849-million hospital in Dumaguete City.
Netherlands, with the Solid Cement project, was the top source of foreign investments last month, followed by Japan with P202.1 million and South Korea with P102.4 million.
“We are definitely off to a positive start in 2019 and it augurs well for the rest of the year as we aim to cross the uncharted trillion-peso mark in investment approval for the whole year,” the press release quoted Trade Secretary and BoI Chairman Ramon M. Lopez as saying.
BoI registered P915-billion committed investments last year, 48% more than 2017’s P616.8 billion and surpassing the 10% year-on-year growth target.
Trade Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo noted in the same statement that investments outside the National Capital Region accounted for nearly all of investments registered last month, “further boosting the dispersal of investments” as Metro Manila accounted for just P4 million.
Calabarzon (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon), the region immediately southeast of Metro Manila that hosts a number of industrial parks, topped all regions with P60.9 billion in new pledges that were three times the year-ago P19.4 billion, due mainly to a wind power project.
Davao Region, Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) and Cagayan Valley completed the top five regions, with approved investments surpassing P500 million each. — J. C. Lim