Investment pledges approved by the government’s two largest incentive-giving bodies jumped 53 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, on higher commitments in the energy sector.
Data from the Trade Department showed the Board of Investments and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority approved P182.83 billion worth of projects in January to March, up from P119.31 billion in the same period in 2017.
BoI contributed P152.12 billion or 83.2 percent of the total investment approvals in the three-month period, while Peza added P39.72 billion or 16.8 percent.
The biggest amount was committed to electricity, gas, steam and electricity supply sector with P104.35 billion, or 57.1 percent of the total investments in the first quarter.
Investments in the sector surged by more than 20 times from the amount approved in the first quarter of 2017.
Investments in the real estate sector reached P27.24 billion, or 14.9 percent of the total, while approved projects in the manufacturing sector amounted to P23.85 billion or 13 percent.
Investments in water supply, sewerage and waste management accounted for P13.87 billion or 7.6 percent, while approved projects in transportation and storage hit P7 billion, or 3.8 percent of the total.
Japan remained the largest source of approved foreign investments, followed by the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Singapore and the United States.
Investments approved by BoI increased in the three-month period, while projects approved by Peza fell from a year ago.
The Trade Department attributed the exceptional performance of BoI to the sound policies of the government and the strong investor sentiment that continued to fuel the growth momentum of the economy.
The agency said it expected BoI to reach its self-imposed target of P680 billion for 2018, or about 10 percent higher than the record figure in 2017. BoI approved P617 billion worth of investment projects in 2017, the highest on record.
The department said most investment approvals were related to the economy’s growing demand for infrastructure in support of the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program.
Investments approved by Peza, however, dropped as investors were still wary of the ongoing reforms in the Philippine taxation system.