THE Board of Investments (BoI) hit its P1-trillion target for approved investment pledges last year despite the coronavirus pandemic, Trade Secretary and BoI Chairman Ramon M. Lopez said on Saturday.

While it met the downscaled target, this was still 10% lower than the P1.14 trillion in BoI-approved investment pledges recorded in 2019.

“Even in our investments, even in the pandemic, naka-hit pa tayo ng P1 trillion and this is the second highest since 2019, which was P1.14 trillion, first in the history,” Mr. Lopez said at the “SMe Bayani: Beating the Odds” webinar on Saturday.

“That shows the confidence pa rin sa atin mga investors na nagpapa-register sa BoI (This shows the confidence of investors who are registering with the BoI),” he added.

Mr. Lopez said the BoI, which accounts for the bulk of planned projects registered with investment promotion agencies (IPA), has achieved its target every year under the Duterte administration. BoI-approved investment pledges reached P617 billion in 2017, P915 billion in 2018, and P1.14 trillion in 2019.

“We can heal as one but we can say also that Philippine businesses not only recover, but surge for 2021. We can build back better for a stronger, responsible, and more dynamic Philippines,” the Trade chief said.

Last month, BoI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo said the agency has approved P905 billion in investment pledges as of Dec. 18.

Mr. Rodolfo said the bulk of approved investments came from infrastructure projects, including

San Miguel Corp.’s P740-billion airport project in Bulacan, along with toll roads and telecommunication towers.

The impact of these investment pledges will not be immediately felt, although Trade officials see this as a sign of how confident investors are in the Philippines’ economic prospects. — Arjay L. Balinbin