MANILA — The Board of Investments (BOI) has approved P463.3 billion worth of investments to the Philippines in the first quarter of the year, an official said on Saturday.
In a statement, the BOI said the approved investments are 155 percent higher than in the same period last year, when it approved P181.7 billion. This is a total of 68 projects so far, it added.
Evariste Cagatan, BOI's executive director for investment promotion services, told reporters in a media briefing that the figure is "more than 40 percent" of her agency's initial target approval for this year at P1 trillion.
This supposedly prompted Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual to raise their target to P1.5 trillion.
"Most of the investments that are coming in... nasa renewable energy, nasa manufacturing. And iyong renewable energy napakaimportante iyan sa panahong ito dahil nga ho gusto ho natin ng green economy," said Cagatan.
"So tinitingnan namin iyong mga—ang Pangulo po, talagang binabantayan niya, minu-monitor niya iyong mga pledges na ito na binigay sa kaniya. So tinitingnan namin ano iyong mga balakid or nagpapasagabal bakit hindi kaagad makapasok," she added.
Based on the BOI's release, P165.4 billion or nearly 36 percent of the over P463 billion are foreign investments, while the rest are domestic investments.
The renewable energy and power sector led the sectors with the most approvals at P440 billion, followed by manufacturing at P17 billion.
Administrative services, transportation and storage followed with approved projects worth P3.7 billion and P1.2 billion. Approved agriculture investments, meanwhile, reached P929 million.
The agency said the approved investments translate to 16,719 jobs that can be generated.
Cagatan clarified that this is just the investment approvals in her agency. "Iba pa iyong mga approvals na siguro naibigay ng ibang investment promotion agencies tulad ng Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) at Clark Development [Corporation], ng Subic."
The official said they are still working on the investment pledges from President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.'s trips abroad.
Malacañang earlier said his trips so far yielded P3.48 trillion or $62.926 billion worth of investment pledges covering 116 projects. Of this, P239 billion have so far materialized as of February.
"Patuloy po namin itong winu-workout para ma-realize natin. Siyempre kapag investment leads pa lang ho iyan, marami pa hong kailangang gawin... para matuloy iyong mga investment pledges na iyan," she added.
Marcos in late February ordered the creation of green lanes in government offices and a "One Stop Action Center" to ease the entry of strategic investments into the country.