BoI to miss P1-T investment pledge goal

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

INVESTMENT PLEDGES to the Board of Investments (BoI) are likely to fall short of the government’s P1-trillion target this year, according to the agency.

The BoI had received P905 billion of investment pledges as of Dec. 18, BoI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo told an online news briefing on Tuesday.

“I’m not sure if the target will be met,” he said in mixed English and Filipino. “Two or three weeks ago we were confident, but we’re still waiting for endorsements from other government agencies so I don’t know if those will be out.”

Investment projects awaiting endorsement account for another P68 billion, he said. If all these remaining projects are approved, the BoI would still fall short of the goal by P27 billion.

The agency last year approved a record P1.14 trillion in investment pledges, which it attributed to strong economic fundamentals and consumer confidence. The approved investments rose by a quarter from P915 billion in 2018.

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The BoI accounts for the bulk of planned projects registered with investment promotion agencies.

The bulk of approved investments for 2020 came from infrastructure projects, including the P740-billion San Miguel Corp. subsidiary airport project in Bulacan, along with toll roads and telecommunication towers, Mr. Rodolfo said.

BoI-approved investments doubled in the first half of 2020 after domestic investments jumped by 166% to P626.7 billion due to the San Miguel airport project. But foreign investments at the time plunged by almost three-quarters to P18.6 billion.

The BoI recently started an investment promotion campaign focusing on the car, aerospace, electronics, copper and nickel, and business process outsourcing sectors. The drive, in partnership with the United Kingdom, will use digital, social media, events and print marketing.

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority, another investment promotion agency, aims to approve more than P100 billion in investment pledges by year-end.

The agency posted P72.6 billion in investment pledges in the 10 months through October, more than a quarter lower than a year earlier. It approved P117.54 billion in investments last year. — Jenina P. Ibanez

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