Philippines secures P14.5-B pledges; Marcos launches investments office

Philippines secures P14.5-B pledges; Marcos launches investments office

By Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza, Reporter

THE PHILIPPINES announced on Monday that it secured investment pledges amounting to P14.5 billion during a business event organized by the Philippine trade department in Tokyo while President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. was there over the weekend.

Malacañang also announced that the President issued a Dec. 15 executive order creating an office that would be responsible for providing him with strategic advice on economic concerns, including inflation and investment opportunities.

The P14.5-billion investment commitments in the form of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) could generate a total of 15,750 job opportunities, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said in a press release following a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-led event on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Japan summit attended by Mr. Marcos in Tokyo.

The Chief Executive said the investment commitments secured by Manila on Monday and during his official visit to Japan in February now sum up to P771.6 billion and could generate 40,000 jobs.

Citing information from Presidential Adviser on Investment and Economic Affairs Frederick D. Go, the PCO said 20 companies have given the President updates on their pledges during his February trip.

The parties involved include the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corp. for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN), which will collaborate on studies relevant to the development of the New Clark City.

The BCDA is also partnering with Manila Japanese School (MJS) for the renewal of its lease in a four-hectare site at the Bonifacio Global City for another 25 years, the PCO said.

Other investors include Ibiden Co. Ltd and Japan Aviation Electronics Industry Ltd., which will both infuse foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the Philippines’ electronics manufacturing sector. They seek to increase production by modernizing their Philippine facilities, the PCO said.

Among the companies that have FDI commitments to the Philippines include Medley Inc., Minebea Mitsumi Inc., Nitori Holdings Co. Ltd and Tsuneishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.

“They are investing for business process outsourcing (BPO) operation, expansion of furniture and home furnishing chain, as well as production improvement and replacement of aging Philippine facilities,” the PCO said.

It said DMCI Project Developers Inc. is pursuing a joint venture with Japan’s Marubeni Corp. for property development projects

Meanwhile, the PCO said in a separate release that Mr. Marcos has signed an executive order creating the Office of the Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs (OSAPIEA), which will be led by Mr. Go.

Mr. Marcos cited the need to establish “a robust monitoring system to ensure a holistic and cohesive approach to addressing the diverse economic challenges currently confronting the nation.”

“There is a need to further strengthen the existing mechanisms for formulation, coordination and implementation of the Government’s economic initiatives, plans, policies and programs,” he said in Executive Order (EO)No. 49, which was signed by the President on Dec. 15.

The office will be headed by a Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs with the rank of a secretary.

The office will advise the Philippine leader on economic matters and concerns, including, among others, the increasing prices of key commodities.

It will also be responsible for ensuring that investment pledges being secured by Manila are “realized and come to fruition.”

The Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs will serve as Chairperson of the Economic Development Group (EDG), while the Secretaries of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Department of Finance (DoF) shall serve as Vice Chairpersons.

“The SAPIEA shall work with the EDG, and identify the priority programs, activities and projects (PAPs) in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028, as well as monitor, review and evaluate the progress of priority initiatives and PAPs of the administration,” the PCO said.

As chairman of the EDG, Mr. Go will supervise, on behalf of the President, the NEDA, DoF, DTI, the Department of Budget and Management, and their respective attached agencies such as the Board of Investments, Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Securities and Exchange Commission, “to ensure effective and efficient implementation of their respective priority initiatives and PAPs.”

“The said agencies are required to regularly report and coordinate with the SAPIEA on priority initiatives and PAPs,” the PCO said.

With his new position, Mr. Go will also sit as a member of NEDA Board, Investment Coordination Committee, Social Development Committee, Committee on Infrastructure, and Development Budget Coordination Committee.

The PCO did not immediately respond when asked if Mr. Go could stay on as Robinsons Land chief executive officer and president if he is appointed to the Cabinet-level post.

The creation of the OSAPIEA is in line with the implementation of the Philippine Development Plan for 2023 to 2028, the PCO said.