Investment approvals in investment promotion agencies (IPAs) under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) have increased from 2016, indicating the improving investment environment in the country in the past five years.
Data from DTI showed that combined approved investments of the Board of Investments (BOI) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) reached PHP5.2 trillion from 2016 until June 2021.
The BOI had the lion’s share in these approvals amounting to PHP4.33 trillion, while PEZA-approved investment registrations reached PHP841 billion since 2016.
When the Duterte administration began in 2016, investment approvals of BOI and PEZA amounted to PHP660 billion.
Approved investments in the IPAs rose to PHP854 billion in 2017, reached the PHP1-trillion mark in 2018, and further grew to PHP1.26 trillion in 2019.
In 2019, the BOI reached its historic high investment approvals at PHP1.14 trillion.
Despite the global health and economic crisis last year due to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), investment approvals of the DTI-attached IPAs remained at the PHP1-trillion level.
Approved registrations in 2020 still reached PHP1.11 trillion amid the pandemic.
The investment approvals made by BOI and PEZA for the past five years are projected to create 804,147 jobs in the country.
Meanwhile, approved investments for the first six months of 2021 alone amounted to PHP236 billion —PHP204-billion projects were approved by BOI and PHP32 billion were approved by PEZA.
“The biggest share was committed to electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply at PHP127.6 billion (54.1 percent). Manufacturing came in second with PHP52.2 billion (22.1 percent), real estate activities with PHP28.5 billion (12.1 percent), information and communication with PHP12.7 billion (5.4 percent), and construction with PHP4.5 billion (1.9 percent),” the DTI said.
Bulk of the investment approvals amounting to PHP197 billion were from local sources and the remaining PHP39 billion were foreign investment pledges.
“(The) UK was the biggest country source of the BOI-PEZA approved foreign investments, with PHP13 billion (33.4 percent). Japan came in next with PHP11.9 billion, followed by UAE with PHP4.5 billion, USA with PHP2.4 billion, and Cayman Islands with PHP1.1 billion,” the DTI added. -PNA