By Justine Irish D. Tabile, Reporter

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Sunday that President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s foreign trips have generated $14.2 billion in actual investment, for a hit rate of about 20% of investment pledges.

“These investments span various sectors, such as manufacturing, information technology and business process management (IT-BPM), renewable energy, infrastructure, transport and logistics, agriculture, and retail,” the department said in a statement.

As of December, the DTI said the President’s travels generated pledges of $72.2 billion across 148 projects.

Forty-six projects have come forward and are currently operating, registered with an investment promotion agency, or are in some other stage of implementation.

Manufacturing accounted for 16 projects or 35% of the total, while IT-BPM had 10 (22%) and nine renewable energy (20%).

“The most significant countries as investment sources by the number of projects that have been actualized are Japan with 21 and the US with 13,” the DTI said.

Meanwhile, 102 projects valued at $58 billion are in the pre-implementation or planning stages as some projects, such as those in offshore wind or major infrastructure projects, require “a more extended implementation period of up to 7 years.”

“The investment flows into the country in phases over the implementation period, during which the project transitions into operational status and begins generating revenue,” the DTI said.

“The duration of the implementation period depends on the sector to which a particular project belongs,” it added.

It said that this is why investment commitments in the IT-BPM sector and in light manufacturing comprise most of the projects that were first to operate.

“While the FDI values are modest, the early actualization of investment commitments in these sectors contributes to the decrease in the unemployment rate in the Philippines, given that IT-BPM and manufacturing are significant generators of direct employment,” DTI said.

The Philippine Statistics Authority said the jobless rate dropped to 4.3% last year from 5.4% in 2022.

Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said that the overseas visits of Mr. Marcos “have been pivotal in generating serious investment interest in the Philippines.”

“Our dedication to turning investment pledges into reality is unwavering. We also leverage each Presidential visits as springboards for building up the pipeline of investment opportunities and making the Philippines an investment destination of choice,” Mr. Pascual said.

In February 2023, Mr. Marcos approved Executive Order No. 18 which established Green Lanes that the DTI said have sparked interest among investors because of the promise of expedited approvals for strategic investments.

As of Feb. 8, the Board of Investments has granted green lane certification to 41 projects, 20 of which were the result of Presidential visits.