BoI-approved investments hit P1.16T

BoI-approved investments hit P1.16T

THE BOARD of Investments (BoI) said on Tuesday that total approved investments reached a record P1.16 trillion so far this year, thanks to a surge in renewable energy projects as the sector was opened up to full foreign ownership.

In a statement, the BoI said it had greenlit P1.16 trillion as of Dec. 18, 59% up from P729 billion approved in 2022.

“There are three more projects worth about P350 billion that are currently being assessed and, if they are able to comply with both the substantive and transparency requirements, they may be able to make it to the BoI Board and Mancom deliberations on Dec. 28 — our last for the year,” Trade Undersecretary and BoI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo said in a statement.

The P1.16-trillion figure so far is still 29% below the revised P1.5-trillion investment approval target set by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the year. The DTI earlier upwardly revised the BoI’s initial P1-trillion target for 2023.

“The BoI hitting P1.16 trillion for 2023 reaffirms strong investor confidence in the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. — their responsiveness to the policy initiatives of the President and the effectiveness of the aggressive investment promotion activities,” Trade Secretary and BoI Chairman Alfredo E. Pascual said.

“We are all-the-more optimistic about opportunities that lie ahead in 2024, with the BoI poised to further catalyze smart- and sustainability-driven investments in the country,” he added.

Domestic approvals hit P398.76 billion, accounting for 34% of the total approvals, and 26% higher than the year-ago figures.

On the other hand, foreign investment approvals soared by 452% to P763.22 billion this year.

The BoI said it approved P968.14 billion worth of investments for the renewable energy and power sector, accounting for 83.45% of the total for the year.

This was more than double the P409.03 billion investments approved a year ago, as the Philippine government allowed full foreign ownership in the renewable energy (RE) sector starting November 2022.

Foreign nationals and foreign-owned entities are now allowed to explore, develop and use RE resources in the country such as solar, wind, biomass, ocean or tidal energy. Foreign ownership of RE projects was previously limited to 40%.

“Noteworthy projects approved for January to December were seven offshore wind power projects located in Cavite, Laguna, Dagupan, San Miguel Bay, Negros, and Northern Samar, amounting to a total of P759.84 billion,” it added.

Mr. Pascual, in June, said that investments in renewable energy projects could make up about a third of the agency’s investment approval targets for the year.

Meanwhile, the BoI approved P96.16 billion worth of projects in the information and communication sector this year.

The manufacturing sector had P22.03 billion worth of approved investments, while infrastructure (toll roads) had P20 billion, and P15.63 billion was for mass housing.

The BoI said these investment approvals are expected to generate 47,195 jobs from a total of 303 projects.

In terms of domestic investments, Western Visayas made up the largest share with P316.89 billion worth of investments, followed by Calabarzon (P211.89 billion), Bicol Region (P162.92 billion), Eastern Visayas (P128.62 billion) and Ilocos Region (P122.18 billion).

Meanwhile, foreign investments from Germany contributed the largest share with P393.28 billion, followed by the Netherlands with P333.61 billion, Singapore with P17.38 billion, and the United States with P3.38 billion. — A.H. Halili