The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) recorded P645.3B of approved investments in the first six months of the year, bouncing back strongly with a 112-% surge from just P304.4.B in the same period in 2019.
“The robust bounce back despite the pandemic shows the country’s resilience as we begin the transition to easing out the restrictions after a prolonged lockdown of the economy. While we expect a lower GDP output in the second quarter than the first quarter due to the ECQ, there are already signs that the economy is humming back to life with industry conditions becoming stable,” Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon M. Lopez said.
Secretary Lopez cited that the rebound in investments is expected since the Philippines is still considered one of the top investment destinations with strong economic fundamentals, and direct investments always have a medium to long-term horizon in their investment decisions.
He cited that the country’s manufacturing sector is close to stability as the Philippine Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey of IHS Markit showed that the manufacturing index score increased to 49.7 in June 2020, up from 40.1 in May. The country recorded an increase in its output index, the first monthly increase in four months. The output index in June was 51.1, coming from a low of 10.2 in April and 29.4 in May. Indices below 50 show a decrease in manufacturing output while above 50 mirrors an improvement of activity. The change in community rules boosted the manufacturing output in making inroads towards stability at the end of the first half of the year. Companies have begun to increase their production as they reopened operations after a long shutdown.
Secretary Lopez added that he expressed optimism that the economy will recover by the third quarter with a positive growth as most of the country is expected to have a relaxed form of community quarantine although he acknowledged that strict social distancing and health protocols will still remain in effect to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Approved investments among domestic sources went up to P626.7 B, surging by 166% from P235.6 B from the same period last year. In contrast, approved figures by foreign businessmen reached P18.6 B, a 73% deceleration as compared to P68.9 B in the same period a year ago.
According to Vice Chairman and BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo, “Construction/infrastructure is the pace-setter among industries with P530.8 B as of the first half. The transportation and storage sectors remain strong with P86.7 B, a 785% improvement from last year’s figure of just P9.8 B. Real estate posted a solid a 16.5% growth to P9 B from P7.7 B in 2019. Renewable energy/power, manufacturing and accommodation (tourism) recorded P6.6 B, P5.3 B and P3.8 B in approved projects, respectively. A total of 96 project got the green-signal and upon operations, it will generate 27,082 jobs, a jump of 57.3% from 17,214 in the same period last year.”
France remains in the driver’s seat among foreign investors with P1.5 B approved investments. Netherlands is runner-up with P1.06 B. Japan remains third with P790 M. Japan is second with P790 M. Malaysia places fourth with P601 M and India fifth with P329 M.
“It is important to highlight the strategic nature of the projects and their important contribution towards building a more modern Philippines. The project proponents have reaffirmed their commitment to the immediate implementation of these infrastructure, ICT and transport projects—towards completion in the medium-to long-term term. Prior to approval of the big-ticket projects, the BOI required them to provide written confirmation of their commitment,” added Sec. Lopez.
Among the recent approvals include San Miguel Aerocity, Inc.’s P530.8 Bairport project in Bulacan, Seaoil’s P654 M downstream petroleum project in La Union, Gigasol3 Inc.’s P2.4 B 63 MW solar project in Central Luzon, Royale Cold Storage North Inc.’s P1.5 B storage facility in Laguna and Heineken International BV’s P1 B brewery plant in the Metro.
Regionally, Central Luzon is tops with P538.1 B by virtue of the large Bulacan airport; NCR is second with P85.4 B; Calabarzon is third with P9.2 B; followed by Davao Region (P4.6 B) and Northern Mindanao (P3.2 B). (DTI Philippines)