Investment pledges drop 69 pct

By Catherine N. Pillas, BusinessMirror

Posted at Mar 17 2014 08:01 AM | Updated as of Mar 17 2014 04:01 PM

MANILA -- The Board of Investments (BOI) has recorded a significant 69-percent drop in approved fresh investments in the first two months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.

For the period, investment pledges from both local and foreign investors sharply fell.

According to documents, the total cost of newly registered projects from January to February 2014 nosedived to about P30.1 billion, down 68.7 percent from the P97-billion committed investments during the same period in 2013.

Trade Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal said the drop in investment pledges at the start of the year was due to the stricter monitoring of compliance with the terms and conditions in availing incentives, as well as the pre-registration requirements.

“It is also just the start of the year. It will pick up by the second quarter,” Cristobal added.

The local component of the January-to-February investment figure was pegged at P28.8 billion, a 64-percent decline from P79.6 billion in the same period last year.

Investment pledges from foreign groups, meanwhile, plummeted to P1.3 billion, down 92 percent from 2013’s P17 billion, during the period.

By sector, no new investment was recorded in the agriculture, forestry and fishing, human health and social work, and waste-management activities.

The sectors of electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning, transportation and storage, and accommodation and food service registered double-digit negative growth.

On the other hand, construction, administrative and support services, financial and insurance activities, real-estate activities, information and communication services, and professional, scientific and technical activities all registered positive growth.

The information and communication services sector was a bright spot with a 646-percent increment in fresh investments in 2014.

The top two approved projects in terms of project cost are in the real-estate sector and the electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply activities, each costing P6 billion. They are seen to generate 1,150 jobs.