MANILA – The Board of Investments (BOI) reported that it approved PHP644.4 billion worth of investments as of Nov. 15.

In a media roundtable Monday, Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said the investment promotion agency is optimistic that it will surpass the investment approvals in 2021 amounting to PHP655.4 billion.

BOI data show that 81 percent of the approved investments came from local investors with commitments amounting to PHP518.3 billion, while the remaining 19 percent were pledges from foreign enterprises valued at PHP126.1 billion.

For the past 11 months, the biggest investments registered with BOI are in power sector with projects amounting to PHP343.8 billion.

Investments for information and communications technology projects amounted to PHP197.6 billion; administrative and support services with PHP26.8 billion worth projects; transport and storage with PHP25.2-billion projects; and real estate with PHP23.8-billion projects.

Top foreign investments in BOI were from Singapore with total commitments of PHP75.3 billion, followed by Japan with PHP29.9 billion, United Kingdom with PHP9.9 billion, British Virgin Islands with PHP2.6 billion and South Korea with PHP2.5 billion.

However, the BOI might fall short of its initial investment approvals target of PHP1 trillion this year.

“What is certain is we will surpass our 2021 (performance). But for the PHP1 trillion (target), there are investment leads in the investment targets that are finalizing their decisions” Rodolfo said.

He said the Russia-Ukraine war in February this year has affected the appetite of companies to invest, which can be seen not only in investments going to the Philippines, but also globally.

But with the recent meetings of Trade Secretary and BOI chair Alfredo Pascual with foreign investors during the overseas trips of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., more investments are expected to come in by next year.

For 2023, the BOI received investment interests from firms amounting to PHP372.8 billion mainly from the information technology and business process management, PHP125.3 billion; real estate, PHP105.47 billion; and agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, PHP66.9 billion. (PNA)