8-month investment pledges jump 38.4%

The Board of Investments registered more than P325 billion worth of investment pledges in the first eight months of the year, moving closer toward its half a trillion peso target by the end of 2017 in time for the agency’s 50th year anniversary.

In a statement yesterday, the BOI said pledges went up 38.4 percent to P325.8 billion from January to August of this year from P235.4 billion in the same period last year. The year-to-date pledges, which involve about 300 projects, are seen creating 62,803 jobs, up by 48.8 percent from 42,214 jobs a year ago.

BOI Chair and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the top five projects in August alone were a mix of energy and construction concerns.

Lopez said last month’s top projects were the P14.6-billion wind energy project of Currimao Solar Energy Corp. in Rizal; the P12.5-billion cement production project of South Western Cement Corp. in Cebu; the P777-million biomass energy plant of VS Gripal Power Corp. in Nueva Ecija; the P763.2- million low-cost housing project of 8990 Housing Development Corp. in Davao City, and the P623.5-million e-commerce project of Global Fashion Group.

“Investors are banking on the construction boom as a result of the ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure program of the government, and to sustain this, they are also looking at the energy requirements,” he said.

With these investment figures, Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said the government was moving closer to its P500 billion target by the end of the year.
“We already achieved 65 percent of our target for our 50th anniversary this year. We still have a month to go before the end of the third quarter and we already have two-thirds of the target. I am confident we can easily top, if not surpass, P500 billion given the influx of investors interested to put their money where the action is,” he said.

Rodolfo said construction and public-private partnership (PPP) projects had registered a 300-percent surge in the first eight months of 2017 from year ago, reaching P127.7 billion. The real estate sector, meanwhile, was up 113 percent to P72.8 billion in the first eight months from P34.1 billion a year ago.

Manufacturing, a sector which the government hoped to revive, went up 74 percent to P36 billion from P20.7 billion in the same period in 2016.

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