By Janina C. Lim
THE Board of Investments (BoI) said the value of projects it approved in the first five months of the year rose nearly a fifth from the same period in 2017, with power-related projects driving the increase.
Preliminary data obtained by BusinessWorld show that the agency approved P206.61 billion worth of investments from January to May this year, 18.42% higher than the P174.47 billion logged in the comparable period last year.
The top five sectors that saw additional investments were power and renewable energy; cargo handling/storage; manufacturing; mass housing; and bulk water supply.
“Growing economy means strong demand for many of these infrastructure and services, manufacturing and utilities. Fast-growing consumer base and middle-class with stronger purchasing power,” Secretary Ramon M. Lopez of the Department of Trade and Industry, BoI’s mother agency, said in a mobile message on Tuesday when asked on the possible drivers for this jump.
The agency, however, declined to provide further details pending the BoI board’s full approval and added that the data will have to be further updated.
BoI Executive Director Lawyer Raul V. Angeles confirmed the figures, saying these investment approvals are already for implementation or under construction and, thus, put the BoI on a timely pace with its target investments for the year.
The agency is looking at approving P680 billion worth of investment projects this year. The 2018 target is a 10% boost from 2017’s P617-billion commitments last year.
“We are on track and we are sticking to our target,” Mr. Angeles told BusinessWorld on Tuesday in Makati City.
The country has seven Investment Promotion Agencies (IPA) authorized to grant tax and non-tax incentives to investors who establish businesses or expand existing ones in the country.
Aside from the BoI, the other IPAs are the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Clark Development Corp., Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan, BoI-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BoI-ARMM) and Cagayan Economic Zone Authority.