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In the first 100 days of PBBM, the BOI approves P126-B investments.

The Board of Investments (BOI) has more than doubled its approved investments quarter over quarter during President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s first 100 days in office, even though investors typically slow down investment approvals during transitions in government leadership because they have this wait-and-see attitude until the new administration has taken office.

From July 1 to September 14 of this year, or the first 75 days of the Marcos administration, BOI approved investments of PHP125.7 billion, according to the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) accomplishment report for the first 100 days of the Marcos administration.

According to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, this is 160 percent more than the IPA’s (Investment Promotion Agency) PHP48.4 billion approvals from April to June 2022. (PSA).

According to the DTI’s report, which the Philippine News Agency received, “the top industries during the period include administrative and support; real estate activities; electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply; finance and insurance; and manufacturing.”

It also stated that 9,000 new employees should be created as a result of the PHP125.7 billion investment approvals within the first three months of the new administration.

From July to September 14, 2022, investment promises in BOI increased by more than double the PHP62.3 billion in approvals for the entire third quarter of the previous year.

However, the latest National Expenditure Program indicates that the new administration would need to make more effort in the year’s final quarter to meet the agency’s PHP995.59 billion goal investment approvals for 2022. (NEP).

The BOI’s performance for the last two-quarters of the Duterte administration, combined with the IPA’s project registrations, totals PHP355.7 billion. From September 15 to the end of 2022, the BOI must solicit and approve investment pledges totaling PHP639.89 billion.

PBBM business goes abroad to attract capital

The DTI stated that President Marcos Jr.’s recently finished state visits to Singapore and Indonesia aimed to entice foreign investment into the nation.

It was mentioned that during the tour to Indonesia, Marcos and his Cabinet members lured USD 7.82 billion worth of investments, of which USD 7 billion were uninvited construction projects.

DTI said that “conservative estimates” put the number of jobs these investments would create at 7,100.

Marcos was able to secure letters of intent (LOIs) worth USD6.54 billion during his visit to Singapore. These included a USD 5 billion letter of intent (LOI) from a consortium to develop e-trikes, a USD 1.2 billion letter of intent (LOI) for a floating solar project, up to a USD 100 million letters of intent by 2030 for the blue economy, a USD 200 million letter of intent to build data centers, a USD 20 million letters of intent for startup development, and another USD 20 million letters of intent on innovation platform and investments.

In addition to these LOIs, Tarlac’s local government unit successfully established alliances with Singapore’s commercial sector.

The DTI claimed that the business program held in New York successfully generated USD3.9 billion in investments and business interests for the Philippines, which could result in the creation of over 112,000 jobs, on the sidelines of Marcos’ visit to the US for the UN General Assembly last month.

The President and the Trade and Industry Secretary spoke with several companies during the Presidential Visit to New York City, US, and the estimations above do not fully capture the potential of their future investments. Although their plans have not yet been finalized, some of these corporations have stated a desire to think about making new or further investments in the nation.

Cleared WFH rules

Final approval of the work-from-home (WFH) regulations for the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry came from the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) on September 14.

By shifting registration from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to BOI, the FIRB, co-chaired by the DTI chairman, allowed 100% WFH setup for the IT-BPM business without losing their incentives.

“The matter involving the tax benefits provided to IT-BPM firms for work-from-home arrangements had been settled. By simply shifting their registration from one government agency to another (PEZA to BOI), enterprises with a 100 percent WFH setup can continue to take advantage of the same incentives, according to the DTI.

It was also said that the country’s competitiveness in normalizing hybrid work, particularly for the IT-BPM sector, is ensured by this governmental reaction.

WFH/hybrid work, according to the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), “is a game-changer for the Philippines and the sustainability of the IT-BPM industry, and it will be a contributing factor to our ability to create 1.1 million new direct jobs for Filipinos, generate billions more in revenue, and significantly increase our countryside footprint by 2028.”

IBPAP President and CEO Jack Madrid stated that the industry aims to reach USD59 billion in revenues and 2.5 million full-time employees in six years from last International Innovation Summit.

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