Capitalists And Money

BoI-approved investment pledges drop 23% to P27.4 billion in May

A Philippine flag is being hoisted at the Rizal Monument in Manila. — PHILIPPINE STAR/EDD GUMBAN

THE BOARD of Investments (BoI) on Monday said it approved P27.41 billion worth of investment pledges in May, down 23% from the P35.7-billion pledges approved a year ago.

In a statement, the agency said approved investment pledges reached P640.22 billion in the first five months of 2024, up by 14% year on year, and the “highest five-month approval in the BoI’s 57-year history.”

Approved investment pledges in May were the lowest since P27.07 billion in February 2024.

The BoI said the 66 projects approved in May are expected to create over 1,700 jobs.

It said P26.74 billion worth of projects were being undertaken by local investors, and P675.23-million projects by foreign investors.

For the January-to-May period, the investment approvals consisted of 209 projects, which are expected to create 13,871 direct jobs.

Of the total, P525.85 billion were domestic investments, while P114.37 billion were foreign investments.

The domestic investments will go to projects in Calabarzon, Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, Bicol Region and Western Visayas.

Switzerland was the top source of foreign investments during the period, accounting for P62.89 billion of the total.

It was followed by the Netherlands (P39.33 billion), Singapore (P6.07 billion), China (P1.53 billion), Taiwan (P1.28 billion) and the US (P953 million).

The renewable energy (RE) sector accounted for P607.47 billion of the total investments during the five-month period, up by 20.7% from P503.18 billion a year ago.

RE projects have been increasing since the government opened the sector to full foreign ownership last year.

Investments in the agriculture sector reached P9.56 billion, while investments in the real estate industry stood at P8.17 billion.

The BoI approved P4.61 billion worth of transportation and storage projects, as well as P4.36 billion worth of manufacturing projects.

Investments surged in the financial and insurance sectors, with P227.95 million worth of projects in the January-to-May period, up more than three times from P67.82 million a year ago.

The DTI said the increase in the five-month approval aligns with the surge in foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the first quarter.

In January to March, FDI net inflows increased 42.1% to $2.97 billion from $2.09 billion a year earlier, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

“The upward trajectory in FDI net inflows and approved investments follows the pattern of commitments from various trade missions initiated by investment promotion agencies, including the goodwill fostered through the President’s business trips abroad,” Trade Secretary and BoI Chairman Alfredo E. Pascual said in a statement.

For 2024, the BoI has an internal target of reaching up to P1.5 trillion in investment approvals.

Last year, it approved P1.26 trillion in investments, 66% or P763.22 billion of which were foreign investments. — Justine Irish D. Tabile