BOI-approved investments soar 160 percent to P532 billion

MANILA, Philippines — Investments approved by the Board of Investments (BOI) surged by nearly 160 percent to P532.3 billion in the first five months of the year from P205.7 billion a year ago, driven by foreign investments in the renewable energy sector.

The amount was already more than a third of the BOI’s target of P1.5 trillion investments for the year.

Foreign investments, which accounted for the bulk or 76 percent of total, skyrocketed  by 7,076 percent to P430.86 billion from January to May compared to last year’s P5.63 billion.

In contrast, approved local investments declined by 36 percent during the review period to P128.41 billion from P200.1 billion in the same period last year.

The year-to-date investment approvals covered 106 projects that are expected to create job opportunities for 18,883 Filipinos.

This is more than the 86 projects approved in the same period last year, with a potential employment of 12,451.

Trade Undersecretary and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo attributed the high investment approvals to renewable energy (RE) projects, especially from German companies.

Rodolfo said that project leads have also reached nearly P1 trillion, the bulk of which are renewable energy projects.

“The number of renewable projects coming in is concrete evidence that we are on our way to becoming a global hub for sustainability and green projects, aligned with the national government’s policy of promoting cleaner and more sustainable sources of energy. We aim to attract more renewable energy players globally as full foreign ownership is now allowed under the amended implementing rules and regulations of the Renewable Energy Act,” Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said.

Last week, Pascual urged for more Chinese investments in the renewable energy sector in a bid to achieve the country’s 50 percent renewable energy power generation mix target in 2040.

During the Offshore Wind Conference, Pascual shared that the country’s target of increasing the share of renewable energy in the country’s power generation mix to 35 percent in 2030, and 50 percent by 2040.

“Our ambitious goals for energy transition reflect our commitment to sustainable development. Energy demand in the Philippines is growing in line with our country’s projected strong economic growth at six percent to even percent in this and the coming years. The demand for energy, especially for green energy, is expected to outpace our current supply level,” Pascual said.

He stressed that the country is in need of over 52,800 megawatts (MW) of additional renewable energy capacity to reach its 2040 goal.

“We, therefore, welcome Chinese and other foreign investment in renewable energy projects in the Philippines,” he said.

In a bid to attract more investments in renewable energy, Pascual said that the Department of Energy  issued a circular last year, allowing 100 percent foreign equity in renewables.

“This lifting of ownership restriction, I’m sure, makes the Philippine renewable energy sector more attractive to foreign investors. We look forward to more Chinese investments to harness solar, wind, and tidal energy,” Pascual said.