THE Board of Investments (BoI) on Monday said registered projects totaled 122 in the first quarter of the year, up 67 percent from 72 a year earlier.
Trade Secretary and BoI Chairman Ramon Lopez said investors continue to be optimistic and confident about doing business in the country.
Once operational, the projects are expected to generate 36,115 new jobs—an increase of 181 percent from 12,841 in the first quarter of last year, Lopez said.
“These positive developments clearly indicates the continuously growing investor confidence in the country’s sound economic policies, macroeconomic fundamentals, and attractive business environment,” he said.
“What further makes the Philippines attractive are plans of the administration to ramp up infrastructure spending that is seen to increase economic activities, the country’s demographic dividend and high-skilled, fast-learner workforce and the strategic location of the country, which can serve as gateway to the rest of the global market,” Lopez added.
Agriculture-related projects are expected to create 6,884 new jobs while projects in housing and construction will create 24,367 new jobs.
“We are prioritizing the promotion of quality investment projects which is defined in terms of the number of jobs to be generated, its social relevance, and impact on the quality of life our countrymen, as in the case of mass housing,” Lopez noted.
The jobs to be created from manufacturing-related projects also increased by 171 percent to 3,038 from 1,123 in January to March 2016.
Food manufacturing projects are expected to generate the highest number of jobs at 2,306, up 206 percent from 754.
The value of investment projects in the first three months of the year totaled P67.973 billion, up 10 percent from P61.938 billion.
The increase in value of investments was attributed to the approval of real estate projects at P44.364 billion, followed by manufacturing at P15.425 billion, energy and power at P4.498 billion and transportation and storage at P2.246 billion.
Trade Undersecretary and BoI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said the BoI is bullish about the inflow of local and foreign investments, which is expected to increase by 13.7 percent to P500 billion from P441 billion
The board is eyeing one of its highest investment registration levels to mark its 50th founding year, with a slogan of “P500 billion for BoI@50.”
With the swift and early approval of the 2017 Investments Priorities Plan (IPP) which was designed to spread the benefits of the country’s fast economic growth to the countryside, with emphasis on a broader segment of the manufacturing sector, innovation-driven and job-generating businesses, Rodolfo said the BoI sees a robust growth in manufacturing investment projects this year.
In the first quarter of the year, the sector recorded a 222.92-percent growth with investment projects amounting to
P15.425 billion from P4.776 billion. The manufacturing sector generated P49 billion in investments last year.
Investments in manufacturing are expected to generate 3,038 new jobs once these business projects are operational.
“The continued growth of the manufacturing industry is a clear indication of the efforts to boost growth of the sector through the Manufacturing Resurgence Program,” Rodolfo noted.
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, he added.
In terms of geographic distribution, Region 4A shared the largest amount of investment projects at P29.104 billion, followed by the National Capital Region at P26.509 billion, Region 3 at P4.630 billion, Region 11 at P2.438 billion and Region 1 at P1.922 billion, the BoI said.