THE Board of Investments (BOI) approved a total of 358 projects worth a combined P366.74 billion in 2015, up 3 percent from P354.76 billion a year earlier, which are expected to create more than 58,000 new jobs when these projects become operational.
The industry development and investments promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the increase in investments was due mainly to big power projects approved last year.
Among the energy-related projects approved by the BOI in 2015 were those of Olympia Violago Water & Power Ltd. Co. (P69.13 billion); San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co. (P49.45 billion); and Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (P29.50 billion).
Overall, the BOI said it approved 55 energy-related investment projects last year worth a total of P246.42 billion with a combined generating capacity of 2,096 megawatts (MW).
This was comparatively higher than the previous year’s record of 37 power-related projects worth an aggregate P174.69 billion and with a total generating capacity of 1,542.4 MW.
“The increase in power investment projects augurs well for the country’s goal to ensure energy security and independence. These investments support the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) 2010-2030 to search for, discover, and further develop energy sources,” said BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo.
Under the PEP, at least P3 trillion in fresh investments are needed to attain the goal.
Investment approvals in the manufacturing sector rose to P27.01 billion in 2015 from P24.47 billion in 2014.
“The continued growth of the manufacturing industry is a clear indication of the efforts to boost the growth and further development of the sector through the Manufacturing Resurgence Program [MRP],” Rodolfo said.
The MRP aims to rebuild the existing capacity of industries, strengthen new ones, and maintain the competitiveness of industries with comparative advantage. It also seeks to build on agriculture-based manufacturing industries that generate employment, and support small-holder farmers and agri-cooperatives through product development, value-adding, and integration to big enterprises for marketing and financing purposes.
“The revival of the manufacturing sector is key to inclusive economic growth because it will generate much-needed employment and help the country tap regional production networks,” Rodolfo said.
Approved investments in agriculture, forestry and fishing more than doubled to P6.19 billion from P2.53 billion, while those for information and communication nearly doubled to P4.68 billion from P2.38 billion previously.
Investment commitments from domestic sources reached P307.24 billion, or 84 percent of the total investment approvals in 2015, while the remaining 16 percent or P59.51 billion were generated from foreign sources.
Nearly half, or 45 percent, of the foreign investments came from the Netherlands with investments worth P26.70 billion. The rest came from Singapore with P10.80 billion (18 percent share), Malaysia with P2.67 billion (4 percent share), South Korea with P2.41 billion (4 percent share), and Taiwan with P2.37 billion (4 percent share).
Of the domestic investments, more than 45 percent or P165.68 billion of the investment projects are located in Region 4A (Calabarzon), followed by Region VI (Western Visayas) with P60.75 billion or a 17 percent share of the total.
Region VII (Central Visayas) recorded almost P32.23 billion worth of investments or a 9 percent share, while the National Capital Region was at fourth place with P29.50 billion worth of investments.