MANILA - More than 36,000 new jobs are expected to be created from new projects registered with the Board of Investments (BOI) in the first three months of the year, the agency said.
The BOI said it registered 122 new projects in the first three months of the year, up 67 percent from 72 in the same period last year.
These projects are expected to generate 36,115 new jobs once operational, almost triple the 12,841 jobs in the first quarter of 2016, according to the BOI.
The increase in investments reflects growing optimism in the Philippines, said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, who chairs the BOI.
"What further makes the Philippines attractive are plans of the administration to ramp up infrastructure spending that is seen to increase economic activities, the country's demographic dividend and high-skilled, fast-learner workforce, and the strategic location of the country, which can serve as a gateway to the rest of the global market," Lopez said.
Most of the investments flowed into real estate and manufacturing. The BOI said that of the P67.973 billion worth of projects registered in the first quarter, real estate (housing and construction) accounted for P44.364 billion, followed by manufacturing with P15.425 billion.
Investments in manufacturing were also up 222.9 percent from P4.776 billion recorded in the same period last year. These new investments in the sector are expected to generate at least 3,038 in new jobs once the projects are operational.
Calabarzon attracted the most investments, followed by the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, the Davao Region and the Ilocos Region.
The country's jobless rate rose to 2.76 million or 6.6 percent in January from 4.7 percent in October, when 2.04 million were jobless, according to the Philippine Statistics Agency.