Philippines: BOI-approved investments up 11%

MANILA, Philippines —  Approved investments by the Board of Investments (BOI) rose by 11 percent to P729 billion this year, driven by investments in the power sector.

“The 2022 BOI Approval levels clearly indicate that despite the lingering effects of the pandemic, especially in the first half of the year, coupled with global decline in Investments due to the Russia-Ukraine war, investors continue to have strong confidence in the Philippine economy,” Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said.

In a media briefing yesterday, Trade Undersecretary and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said the investment approvals would have been higher if not for the Russia-Ukraine war.

“Moving forward, as directed by the chairman and secretary (Pascual), we are targeting P1 trillion investments for 2023. We have a healthy pipeline of strong leads, including those generated and further confirmed through investment missions by the secretary and through the presidential visits by President Marcos,” Rodolfo said.

Rodolfo cited the renewable energy sector as a top driver of the approved investment growth, with the power sector accounting for 56 percent of the investments.

The information and communication sector, particularly data centers and telco towers, had a 28 percent share of the investments, according to BOI data.

Other investments came from sectors such as the information technology-business process management (IT-BPM), manufacturing, mass housing, transportation and storage.

Rodolfo stressed that the composition of the approved projects is strategic and is fully aligned with Pascual’s direction that industrialization should be based “on sustainability, on digitalization and on connectivity.”

“Thus, you can see the clustering of projects in the area of renewable energy, in data centers, telco towers and in electric vehicles,” Rodolfo said.

Meanwhile, Pascual emphasized that business missions and Marcos’ visits to various countries have generated strong, tangible interest in the country’s renewable energy sector, particularly in the area of off-shore wind power generation projects.

“Investors welcomed the strong political will of the administration to push for RE, especially with the recent amendment by the DOE (Department of Energy) of the Renewable Energy Act IRR (implementing rules and regulations (IRR) to now allow for 100 percent foreign equity ownership of solar, wind and tidal power projects,” Pascual said.

He explained that RE investments are of critical strategic importance for the Philippines as the country is being positioned as a regional hub for innovation and sustainability-driven manufacturing and services.

“We provide the solution for companies who are actively looking for suitable locations that will help them achieve their net-zero carbon commitments,” Pascual said.

Apart from the renewable energy sector, Pascual shared that there are also investment leads that seek to take advantage of the full-implementation of game-changing reform legislations in the area of public utilities, retail trade, and tech start-ups.