New projects approved by the Board of Investments jumped 126 percent in the first eight months to P609 billion from P269.3 billion a year ago, on the back of big-ticket projects registered in August.
The BOI said 98 percent of these investments were committed to areas outside Metro Manila. Once completed, these projects would generate jobs for 37,524 personnel, or 30.5 percent higher than 28,743 jobs anticipated in the same period last year.
Data from the BOI showed that domestic investments climbed 61.2 percent in the eight-month period to P404.5 billion from P251 billion a year ago.
Approved foreign investments comprised a third of the total and surged 1,016.3 percent in the first eight months to P204.5 billion from P18.3 billion in the same period in 2018.
Singapore was the top source of foreign investments with P170 billion followed by the Netherlands with P9.2 billion, Thailand with P8.6 billion, Japan with P6 billion and the United States with P2.4 billion.
The BOI said investment approvals in August hit P296.2 billion, a 1,640-percent jump from just P17 billion in August 2018.
“The August figure of investment approvals nearly matches investments approved for the first seven months of 2019 amounting to P312.8 billion. This shows big-ticket projects have begun to roll in and proves that the Philippine economy remains resilient in attracting investors despite the global slowdown,” said Trade Secretary and BOI chairman Ramon Lopez.
“With the August inflation rate decelerating further to 1.7 percent, the lowest in nearly three years, our country has greater stability and flexibility as our exports continue to grow in some markets. Even our manufacturing sector is expected to weather the downward trend that has affected most countries as BOI approvals among the manufacturing sector surged to P62.9 billion, a 189.2-percent increase from just P21.7 billion in January to August 2018,” Lopez said.
He said to further increase the capacities of the manufacturing base, the country would continue to aggressively promote increased bilateral business ties with its biggest trading partners despite the trade war between the US and China.
“But at the same time, we will also promote import substitutions by exporting more to other markets as we diversify,” Lopez said.
The information and communication sector topped investments approvals from January to August, reaching P308.8 billion, a significant increase from only P340 million last year.
Investments in power projects grew 50.5 percent to P195.1 billion from P129.6 billion in the same period last year. Investments in tourism accommodation sector went up 636 percent to P9.2 billion from P1.25 billion while human health and social work activities registered a 69.7-percent jump from P1.3 billion to P2.3 billion.
Among the biggest projects in August were the infrastructure project of ISOC Asia Telecom Towers Inc. that would build 25,000 cellular towers valued at P141.1 billion; the three-phase project of Philippines Fiber Optic Cable Network Ltd. Inc. covering around 60,000 kilometers for an aggregate cost of P134.5 billion; and the P16.7-billion cement facility of Republic Cement and Building Materials Inc. in Rizal.
“We still have pending big-ticket projects that need to be thoroughly studied and evaluated. With four months remaining, we have to ensure that those who got the nod are deserving of the tax incentives and translate to more job opportunities for our countrymen,” said Trade Undersecretary and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo.