The Board of Investments has approved P84 billion worth of investment pledges from January to April, down by 71 percent from P286.7 billion in the same period in 2019.
According to the BoI, these investments involve 70 projects that are expected to create 11,055 jobs once fully operational.
The bulk of the investments are in the transportation and storage sector, amounting to P60.2 billion, followed by real estate with P8.8 billion, manufacturing with P5.3 billion, power with PHP4.2 billion, and accommodation with P3.8 billion of investments.
“The downturn is expected due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic where economic activities and investments are disrupted due to lockdowns around the world,” Trade and Indusrtry Sec. and BoI Chairman Ramon Lopez said in a statement.
Domestic companies remain the top sources of pledges with the BoI in the first four months of the year, reaching P70.2 billion, while foreign sources registered a total of P13.4 billion investments.
The top foreign investment pledges were from France amounting to P1.5 billion, Japan with P790 million, Malaysia with P601 million, India with P325 million, and the United Kingdom with P156 million.
DTI Undersecretary and BoI managing head, Ceferino Rodolfo, told trade reporters in an online briefing that at least two companies, one of them with a big-ticket project amounting to P450 billion, would pursue their projects despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
These investments are in the infrastructure sector and support the telecommunications infrastructure.
“We have projects in the pipeline and actually, we have for (the) Board’s approval already. We were instructed to really make sure that they are committed to continuing with the project. And they have already confirmed,” Rodolfo said.
At the start of the year, Lopez said the investment promotion agency targets to grow investment approvals by 10 percent.
The BoI registered record-high pledges in 2019 amounting to P1.14 trillion.
Rodolfo, however, said the BoI Board has yet to revise the growth target for this year as it is still studying the impact of the pandemic.