BOI: Project pledges up amid Mindanao crisis
Investment pledges registered under the Board of Investments (BOI) went up 25 percent to P174.5 billion in the first five months of the year, but it remains to be seen how Mindanao—President Duterte’s home island, would fare having been placed recently under martial rule.
Nevertheless, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the overall growth pointed to a sustained investor confidence notwithstanding the worries surrounding martial law in Mindanao.
President Duterte placed Mindanao under military rule late last month after terrorists seeking ties with the Islamic State attacked Marawi City.
“With the continued confidence of investors on the viability and profitability of doing business in Mindanao, we also send a positive signal on the stability of the peace and order situation in the island group,” Lopez said in a statement.
He claimed prospects there remained “rosy,” noting that Northern Mindanao and the Caraga region recorded P1.382-billion and P1.350-billion pledges, respectively.
He also cited Davao region, which cornered P3.181 billion worth of investment pledges year-to-date.
In the month of May, however, when the crisis erupted, no new pledges or only small additions were made.
The P174.5 billion worth of pledges cover 218 projects that could create 51,847 jobs once fully operational.
The projects are mainly in the real estate sector (P68.74 billion), construction and public private partnerships (P48.47 billion), energy and power (P28.31 billion), manufacturing (P15.75 billion), and transportation and storage (P9.59 billion).
Singapore was the biggest investor with P2.12-billion worth of pledges, followed by the US with P483.25 million and Netherlands with P445.22 million.
BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo said the the agency was on track in meeting the P500-billion investment target for the year. —ROY STEPHEN C. CANIVEL
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