BOI pledges hit P655B in 2021; target missed
The Board of Investments (BOI) approved around P655 billion worth of pledges last year, 34.5 percent lower than the 2020 level of P1 trillion and falling far short of the BOI’s lowered yearend target due mainly to surges in COVID-19 cases that prompted recurring lockdowns.
“The approved investments of the BOI still hit the Php600-billion mark before the end of 2021, lower by 30-35 percent of its P905 billion target as attributed to the rise of Delta cases and extended investors timeline for finalizing studies, decisions, and registrations,” the BOI said in a statement.
The BOI originally aimed to hit P1.25 trillion last year but eventually lowered the target.
The BOI said these pledges came from a total of 235 projects, including the P81-billion Makati City Subway project and the P25-billion Calatagan Cement Plant. BOI said domestic investments fell by 48 percent last year to P503.6 billion from P970 billion previously.
“Because of the global surge in the Delta variant and now with the emergence of the Omicron variant, these resulted in global setbacks in economic recovery, which then translated to the implementation of stricter protocols in the country,” said Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo.
“We were hit hard during the second quarter and the early part of the third quarter last year,” he added.
The BOI—the investment arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) —thus ended the year with a year-on-year decline, and also despite the promise of the Create law, or the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act.
Considered as one of the tax reform packages pushed by the Duterte administration, it was passed in March 2021.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier said the Create law “is expected to bring in [a] massive inflow of investments that will create more jobs.” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III also called it “one of the largest economic stimulus measures in the country’s history” when the Senate passed the Create bill in Nov. 2020.
The BOI released the data about its 2021 performance as part of its comment on the increase in foreign direct investments (FDI) reported by the Central Bank as of October 2021.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said that FDI inflows went up by 98.9 percent year-on-year as of October.
“Buoyed by 2021 FDI results as well as the healthy pipeline of strong investment leads—both foreign and domestic, and with the reforms that we are anticipating to still be passed in the next months, we are confident of hitting P1 trillion in BOI approved investments this year,” Lopez said. INQ
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