The government expects more than 11,000 jobs will be created by investments worth P46.77 billion in projects approved during the first quarter of the year, higher by 60.7 percent than the number of jobs recorded in the same period last year, the Board of Investments (BOI) said on Tuesday.
The BOI approvals in the first quarter of 2014 showed a sharp drop in value, but resulted in greater job creation. Investments approved in the period fell 52 percent to P46.77 billion from the P97.19 billion posted a year earlier.
Despite the lower amount of investments, the BOI-approved projects this year are expected to generate 11, 636 jobs, compared with last year’s 7,239.
The BOI said a single big-ticket item contributed to the impressive investment figure in the first quarter of last year, namely the Redondo Peninsula Energy, Inc. power project amounting to P62.86 billion.
Trade Undersecretary and BOI managing head Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. said the significant increase in job generation is a result of the substantial investments in the manufacturing sector, which grew by 168 percent from P777 million in the first quarter last year to P2.1 billion this year.
“The steady progress of the government’s policy reform program and industry development initiatives provide a favorable environment for meaningful investments in sectors that directly impact on increasing employment opportunities,” the official said.
Cristobal added that domestic investments dominated the total investment commitments at 90 percent or P42.08 billion, with the balance of 10 percent or P4.69 billion coming from foreign sources.
The BOI-approved projects include two public-private partnership (PPP) projects for school infrastructure in Regions I, III and IV which are expected to contribute 3,614 jobs; 17 mass housing projects to employ 7,263 construction related personnel; and eight manufacturing firms to generate 542 direct employment.
Real estate activities, specifically, the mass housing sub-sector, recorded the largest share of investment commitments at P7.96 billion or a 38 percent share, followed by the construction sector with a 24 percent share; electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply with a 23 percent share; transportation and storage with a 10 percent share; and manufacturing sector with a 4 percent share.
Apart from the 168 percent increase in investments in the manufacturing sector, substantial increases were also noted in real estate activities, where investments climbed 116.39 percent to P17.96 billion; and in the information and communication sector, where investments jumped 646 percent to P496.7 million.
The top foreign country sources were the United Kingdom, with investments of P1.46 billion or 31 percent of the total foreign investments in 2014, followed by Japan (P874.78 million), the Netherlands (P492.50 million), Thailand (P237.28 million) and Taiwan (P16.08 million).
Top projects approved for the quarter were Citicore Megawide Consortium Inc. (P8.5 Billion), SM Development Corp. (P5.9 billion), Prime Meridian Powergen Corp. (P5.57 billion), Cebu Air Inc. (P3.9 billion), Agusan Power Corp. (P3.66 billion) and Bright Future Educational Facilities Inc. (P2.5 billion).