2023 April 15
INVESTMENT WATCH. Board of Investments (BOI) Executive Director for Investments Promotion Services Evariste Cagatan speaks during the Saturday News Forum at Dapo Restaurant in Quezon City on Saturday (April 15, 2023). Cagatan said President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is closely monitoring investment pledges to provide whatever assistance to fast-track investors’ entry into the country.
MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is hands-on in ensuring that the more than PHP3.48 trillion investment pledges Manila secured during his foreign trips would materialize and generate jobs as soon as possible, a Board of Investments (BOI) official said Saturday.
At the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City, BOI Executive Director for Investments Promotion Services Evariste Cagatan said the Chief Executive had been closely monitoring the leads to provide assistance to fast-track these investors’ entry into the country.
“Investment leads pa lang iyan so marami pang kailangang gawin para tuluyang matuloy ‘yong mga pledges (These are only investment leads, so a lot still needs to be done before they materialize),” she said.
“Ang pangulo talagang binabantayan niya ‘yong pledges na ito na binigay sa kanya. So tinitingnan namin kung ano ‘yong mga balakid bakit hindi kaagad makapasok (The President is closely monitoring these pledges. So we are trying to identify the obstacles to the entry of these investments),” she added.
The challenges, she said, range from securing permits to the need for vast tracts of land and hiring employees with the right set of skills for their businesses.
The Philippines has so far secured USD62 billion or approximately PHP3.48 trillion in investment pledges since Marcos’ first official foreign travel in 2022.
“Most of these, for example, the US trip, marami nang pumasok at na-register na natin sa BOI at PEZA (many have entered and have been registered with the BOI and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority),” Cagatan said.
“But you must understand na ‘yong investment kapag ginawa ‘yong pledge ngayon, not necessarily bukas nandiyan na siya. Medyo mahaba ‘yong gestation (You must understand that if you make the pledge today, it does not mean that it would materialize instantly. The gestation period is quite long),” she added.
Cagatan noted that while monitoring these pledges, the government also continues to attract local and foreign investors by positioning the country as an ideal destination to achieve their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals.
“(I)yong mga investors ngayon, hinahanap nila kung saan sila puwedeng mag-invest wherein masasagot nila iyong kanilang ESG goals. So iyon ‘yong offer ng Philippines na kung dito sila maglo-locate (Investors are checking where they could invest and achieve their ESG goals. That’s what we’re offering in the Philippines) we can help them and support their ESG goals because renewable energy is available here,” she said.
At the BOI alone, investment approvals from January to March reached PHP463.3 billion, up by 155 percent from the PHP181.7 billion recorded in the same period last year.
Cagatan said a large chunk of these investments is in renewables.
“(This) is 40 percent of our original target for approval for the year that is PHP1 trillion. And because we are already at that level, our target this year climbed to PHP1.5 trillion,” she said.
Joyce Ann Rocamora