Projects approved by the Board of Investments dropped 23 percent in the first two months to P101.72 billion from P131.61 billion a year ago, despite the surge in foreign investment pledges.
Data from the BoI showed that foreign investments jumped 1,456 percent in the two-month period to P10.926 billion from P702.28 million a year earlier while domestic investments plunged 30.6 percent P90.7 billion.
Trade Undersecretary and BoI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said he was optimistic the investment figure would rebound in March.
“We have key projects in the pipeline particularly in the area of power that are still undergoing BoI’s rigorous evaluation process on technical and financial aspects and equally important their compliance with requirements for BiI registration. Given the projected investment costs, we are very optimistic of a renewed surge in total approvals in the next months,” Rodolfo said.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, one of the speakers during the opening of the Franchise Asia Expo 2019, echoed Rodolfo’s enthusiasm.
“This is just an issue of timing. Some projects got to be considered in March meetings. Thus, we’re expecting March to show high growth again,” he said.
Lopez, a firm believer in empowering micro, small and medium enterprises, underscored the benefits of franchising to the economy.
“Franchising also acts as an enabler as it gives entrepreneurs a chance to upgrade their business into becoming a franchise,” he said.
Data from the BoI showed that the top performing sectors in the first two months of 2019 were power projects with P49.42 billion; information and communication, P33.14 billion; manufacturing, P12.93 billion; real estate, P2.15 billion; and human health/hospitals P1.82 billion.
Calabarzon or Region IVA topped the list of investment destinations with total approvals worth P60.934 billion. It was followed by Region VII with P2.008 billion; Region VIII, P970 million; Region III, 836.62 million; and Region VI, P824.82 million.
The top five regions generated a total of P65.57 billion worth of approved investments or 65-percent of the total.
“We remain optimistic of meeting the P1-trillion target set by our chairman, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, for BoI this year. It is a timing issue as we cannot and we do not rush project approvals. The BoI makes sure that every peso of approved investments is qualified and is deserving to be registered,” Rodolfo said.