MANILA, Philippines - The Board of Investments on Tuesday said it approved a total of P46.77 billion in investments in the first quarter, less than half of what it approved in the same period last year.
In a statement, the BOI attributed the 52% drop in approved investments to the absence of a one-time gain made in 2013 for the P62.86 billion Redondo Peninsula Energy power project in Subic that has been stalled by environmental groups.
In the first quarter, investment commitments in manufacturing jumped 168% to P2.1 billion, from P777 million a year ago.
There were also substantial increases in real estate and information communication sectors. Real estate activities, particularly the mass housing sector, had the largest share of investment commitments with P17.96 billion, 116% higher than the same period in 2012. The information and communication sector also saw a 646% increase in investment commitments to P496.7 million.
Despite the lower figure, the new investments are expected to generate more than 11,636 jobs, 60% more than the jobs created by BOI-approved projects in the same period last 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," BOI managing head and Trade Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr said.
Topping the list of foreign country sources is the United Kingdom with investments of P1.46 billion, followed by Japan (P874.78 million);
Netherlands (P492.50 million); Thailand (P237.28 million); and Taiwan (P16.08 million).