PROPOSED projects registered with the Board of Investments (BoI) were up 19% in the first nine months, led by energy projects, Trade Secretary and BoI Chairman Ramon M. Lopez said in a statement on Thursday.
BoI-registered investment during the period totaled P455 billion, against P381 billion a year earlier.
Mr. Lopez said the investment climate received a boost from the upcoming release of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the expanded Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018 and investment road shows in support of the Strategic Investment Priorities Plan (SIPP).
Power projects accounted for P168 billion, up 49% from a year earlier.
Manufacturing followed with P104 billion, up from P36 billion a year earlier.
Transport and logistics projects accounted for P102 billion, up from P15 billion previously.
“Investor confidence in the country remains high. The Philippines continues to attract more investments because the economy is strong enough to withstand challenges on both the domestic and international fronts,” Mr. Lopez said.
The BoI said it remains confident it will achieve its target of 10% investment growth after a record 2017.
“After the record-breaking investment approval figure of P617 billion in 2017, the agency is still pretty confident of hitting its investment target of P680 billion for this year,” Mr. Lopez said.
He added that September investment pledges are at two-thirds of the 2018 target “and the rest of the year should be pretty exciting and challenging due to the deluge of big projects in the pipeline.”
Another measure of investment, foreign direct investment, totaled P37 billion during the period, up from P12.5 billion a year earlier.
The British Virgin Islands accounted for P15.2 billion of the total. This was followed by Indonesia at P6.4 billion; Malaysia, P2.9 billion; Japan, P2.6 billion; and China, P1 billion.
“Our FDIs are clearly feeding off on the momentum of actual FDIs as monitored by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP),” Undersecretary and BoI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo.
According to the BSP, actual FDI totaled $6.7 billion in the seven months to July up, 52% from a year earlier.
Pulangi Hydro Power Corp.’s P38 billion project proposal led the power sector. It involves the construction of a 250-megawatt hydroelectric power plant in Bukidnon.
The manufacturing sector’s totals were boosted by Petron Corp.’s P82 billion investment in a condensate processing complex at its refinery in Limay, Bataan. Another major project is the P62.6 billion Liquefied National Gas terminal project of FGEN LNG Corp. in Batangas City with a capacity of 5 million tons per year.
Other manufacturing projects include Bio Renewable Energy Ventures’ P1.8 billion coconut methyl ester and glycerin facility in Misamis Oriental; Biotech Farms, Inc.’s P151 million fiber egg tray project in South Cotabato; and Conibo Organics, Inc.’s P60 million coconut coir project in Camarines Sur.
Totals for the transportation and logistics segment were boosted by Philippine Airlines, Inc.’s purchase of six Airbus A321NEO aircraft worth P19 billion.
The P11.8 billion investment of Cebu Air, Inc. also invested P11.8 billion for five Airbus A321NEOs.
Meanwhile, new hospitals and expansions received strong investment “on the back of strong wellness demand in the provinces.”
Among these are Allegiant Regional Care Hospitals, Inc.’s new P710 million facility in Lapu-Lapu City; Allied Care Experts (ACE) Medical Center’s new P1 billion hospital in Bohol; Healthcaremax Inc.’s P658 hospital unit in Batangas; and Good Shepherd Hospital’s P362 million project to expand its hospital in Panabo City, Davao del Norte.
Central Luzon accounted for P163 billion worth of investment during the period. Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) followed with P126.3 billion and the National Capital Region was third with P61 billion. — Janina C. Lim