The Board of Investments (BOI) has recorded P645.3 billion in approved investments for the first six months of 2020, the year, strongly bouncing back with a 112% surge from P304.4 billion in the same period the previous year.
Trade Secretary and BOI chairman Ramon Lopez said the
“robust bounce back despite the pandemic shows the country’s resilience as we begin the transition to easing out the restrictions after a prolonged lockdown of the economy.”
“While we expect a lower GDP (gross domestic product) output in the second quarter than the first quarter due to the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), there are already signs that the economy is humming back to life with industry conditions becoming stable,” he added in a statement.
Lopez said the investment rebound is expected since the Philippines is still considered one of the top investment destinations with strong economic fundamentals, and direct investments always have a medium to long-term horizon in their investment decisions.
He noted that the country’s manufacturing sector is close to stability as the Philippine Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey of IHS Markit showed the manufacturing index score increased to 49.7 in June 2020, up from 40.1 in May.
The Philippines has recorded an increase in its output index, the first monthly increase in four months. The output index in June was 51.1, coming from a low of 10.2 in April and 29.4 in May.
Indices below 50 show a decrease in manufacturing output while above 50 mirrors an improvement of activity. The change in community rules boosted the manufacturing output in making inroads towards stability at the end of the first half of the year.
Companies have begun to increase their production as they reopened operations after a long shutdown.
Lopez has expressed optimism the economy will recover by the third quarter with a positive growth as most of the country is expected to have a relaxed quarantine regime by then. He, however, acknowledged that strict physical distancing and health protocols will still remain in effect to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Data show approved investments among domestic sources went up to P626.7 billion, surging by 166 percent from P235.6 billion from the same period last year. In contrast, approved figures by foreign businessmen reached P18.6 billion, a 73% deceleration compared to P68.9 billion in the same period a year ago.
BOI vice chair and managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said construction/infrastructure is the pace-setter among industries with P530.8 billion as of the first half and the transportation and storage sectors remain strong with P86.7 billion, a 785% improvement from last year’s figure of just P9.8 billion.
Real estate posted a solid 16.5-percent growth to PHP9 billion from PHP7.7 billion in 2019m while renewable energy/power, manufacturing, and accommodation (tourism) recorded P6.6 billion, PHP5.3 billion and PHP3.8 billion in approved projects, respectively.
Lopez said a total of 96 projects got the green-signal and upon operations, they will generate 27,082 jobs, a jump of 57.3% from 17,214 in the same period last year.
France remains in the driver’s seat among foreign investors with P1.5 billion approved investments. The Netherlands is runner-up with P1.06 billion, and Japan remains third with P790 million. Malaysia places fourth with P601 million and India fifth with P329 million.
The recent approvals include San Miguel Aerocity, Inc.’s P530.8-billion airport project in Bulacan; Seaoil’s P654-million downstream petroleum project in La Union; Gigasol3 Inc.’s P2.4-billion 63-MW solar project in Central Luzon; Royale Cold Storage North Inc.’s P1.5-billion storage facility in Laguna; and Heineken International BV’s P1-billion brewery plant in Metro Manila.
Regionally, Central Luzon tops the investments’ list with P538.1 billion by virtue of the large Bulacan airport; National Capital Region is second with P85.4 billion; Calabarzon is third with P9.2 billion, followed by Davao Region (P4.6 billion) and Northern Mindanao (P3.2 billion).