Invest commitments surge 338% to P191 billion in January-May

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Investment commitments went up by 338% to P191.182 billion in the first five months of the year from a year ago level of P43.613 billion as more investments for energy projects continued to pour into the country, the Board of Investments (BOI) reported yesterday.

The BOI also approved 117 projects during the period, up from 65 a year ago.

These projects are expected to create employment for 24,337 workers, up 188 percent from 8,465 jobs created in January to May last year.

"We grew in all aspects," BOI executive director Lucita P. Reyes said of the first five months performance of the agency.

Reyes said that 39% of the total approvals from the period came from energy projects.

The single biggest project was that of Petron Corp, the country's largest oil refinery. Petron will invest P74.78 billion for the full conversion of its Limay refinery to a cleaner white oil.

Reyes said Petron will upgrade its existing refinery into full conversion oil refinery to convert fuel oil to white oil. She explained this will make the firm Euro 4 compliant one year ahead of the imposed schedule.

The by products like petro feedstock will be sold to plastic producers or propylene as raw materials for polymer plastics

Reyes said Petron's investment will create 165 jobs in addition to the existing regular employees to support additional processes. The implementation will begin July 2015. The project is registered as downstream industry in the Deregulation Industries Act that is why the BOI granted the project a five year ITH.

There were four other wind power projects registered under the Renewable Energy Law.

After energy, the second biggest sector was the low cost mass housing sector. SM Development Corp. (SMDC) was the largest developer of mass housing projects followed by Filinvest Land and DMCI. SMDC has invested P7.8 billion for its big ticket mass housing projects

Under the infrastructure project one of the big investments was the P1.9 billion project of Boracay Island Water. This project is a joint venture project of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) and the Manila Water.

Reyes said there is a concession agreement between the two parties to improve the water system in the island and likewise construct a better sewerage system for the tourist spot.

"This investment is necessary because the problem of Boracay is the sewerage and the water. This can solve a lot of problems," Reyes said.

Reyes said they only registered one mining firm for the period which is the P2.05 billion project Citinickel Mines and Development Corp. in Barangay Narra Palawan.

Citinickel holds the mineral production sharing agreement that covers the 2,200-hectare sprawling nickel-rich mining concession in the towns of Narra and Sofronio in Palawan.

The mining project features development and operations limited to waste stripping, ore extraction, loading, and shipment as well as construction, rehabilitation and improvement of mine haul and access roads.

It also includes construction and operations of mine structures and support facilities, such as stockyards, equipment yard and office, camp site and assay and drainage systems, waste dump areas, settling ponds and other silt and erosion control infrastructures.