The Board of Investments, the country’s leading investment promotion agency, has approved a total of PHP272.7 billion from January to mid-July 2017.
BOI Managing Head and Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo told reporters that investment pledges up to mid-July this year was higher by 30 percent from PHP210.4 billion approvals in January to July 2016.
The increase in investments in mid-July was boosted by the registration of the PHP79-billion MRT-7 project of San Miguel Corp..
The MRT-7 project involves the construction of 23-kilometer elevated railway with 14 stations from San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan connecting to MRT-3 North Avenue Station in Quezon City and a 22-kilometer asphalt road from Bocaue Interchange of North Luzon Expressway to intermodal terminal in Tala, Caloocan City.
But it was noted that investment approvals in BOI during the first semester of 2017 only inched up by 1.0 percent to PHP188 billion from PHP186 billion in the same period last year.
Rodolfo said most of investors were waiting for the release of the 2017 Investment Promotion Plan (IPP) guidelines before registering their projects with the BOI; hence, the almost flat growth in approvals in the first half of the year.
The 2017 IPP was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte on February 28, 2017. It took effect on March 18, 2017, but the BOI only released the guidelines recently.
With the theme of “Scaling Up and Dispersing Opportunities”, the 2017 IPP supports socioeconomic agenda of the President Duterte and in line with the AmBisyon Natin 2040.
Rodolfo mentioned four highlights of the new IPP list — the inclusion of inclusive business, commercialization of research and development and inventions from state universities and colleges as well as the Department of Science and Technology, implementing certain criteria for manufacturing activities, and trainings, particularly for information technology and business process management and maritime sectors.