Investment pledges surged 60 percent in the first quarter to P243 billion from P152.1 billion in the same period last year, putting the Board of Investments on track of attracting P1 trillion worth of new projects this year.
This marked a solid recovery from the 23-percent decline in January to February, the agency said.
Investments from foreign sources continued to lead in terms of growth with 3,787 percent, from only P792.8 million in the first quarter of 2018 to P30.8 billion this year.
Domestic investments still contributed the largest share with P212.2 billion for a 40-percent increase from P151.3 billion a year ago.
“After generating a record-breaking P915 billion in approved investments last year, we are still sustaining the momentum this year due to steady, strong and positive investor sentiment here and abroad,” Trade Secretary and BoI chairman Ramon Lopez said.
“The upside trajectory for approved foreign investments continues to surge, following the 378-percent increase recorded in 2018 which saw FDIs approved by BoI reaching P104 billion from just P21.7 billion in 2017. We expect the growth to continue for the rest of the year as we aim to approve at least P1 trillion in total investments,” Lopez said.
Electricity and power projects dominated the majority of investments in the first three months with P148 billion worth of investment projects. Manufacturing investment projects followed with P43 billion while information and communications technology received P33.2 billion worth of investment projects.
Among the notable projects approved in the quarter were St. Raphael Power Generation Corp., a new operator of 2x350 megawatt coal-fired thermal power plant in Barangay San Rafael, Calaca, Batangas (P96 billion); Rizal Wind Energy Corp., a renewable energy developer of wind energy resources in Antipolo and Tanay Rizal and General Nakar, Quezon (P47 billion); and Metroworks ICT Construction Inc., a new operator of telecommunications infrastructure (P33 billion).
Other major investors were Holcim Philippines Inc., a new producer of cement in Barangays Matictic and Bangkal in Norzagaray, Bulacan and Barangay Bayabas in Dona Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan (P12.6 billion); Solid Cement Corp., a new producer of cement in San Jose, Antipolo City (P12.4 billion); United Pulp and Paper Company Inc., a new producer of corrugated medium in Calumpit, Bulacan (P8.4 billion); Nidec Subic Philippines Corp., a new export producer of industrial robotic gears in Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Olongapo City, Zambales; and Robinsons Land Corp., a new operator of tourist accommodation facility in Lapu Lapu City, Cebu (P2.3 billion).
Trade Undersecretary and BoI managing director Ceferino Rodolfo emphasized the stringent evaluation process these projects undergo, prior to extensive deliberations when these are taken up by the BoI board of governors for decision.
“For the power projects for instance, aside from technical and financial assessment and demand gap evaluation, we require positive official endorsement by the Departments of Energy and of the Environment and Natural Resources. We also require the proponents to commit to emission standards which are very much stricter than local and international requirements. Failure to meet these commitments would mean forfeiture of incentives,” he said.
The Netherlands topped all foreign investors with P9.1 billion worth of investments. Thailand finished second with P8.4 billion and Japan placed third with P5.3 billion worth of investments. The United States came in at fourth place with P2.2 billion worth of investments.
Region IVA received P162 billion of the investments while Region III came in second place with P25.9 billion in investments. The National Capital Region ranked third with P6.1 billion worth of investments.