Approved foreign investments P408.7B as of Q3

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/27 November) – Approved private investments in the country reached P408.7 billion from January to October this year, or 38.1-percent higher compared to P296 billion for the same period last year.  

In a press briefing Monday at the Presidential Guest House in Davao City, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reported that these fresh investments came from 369 projects by the Board of Investments (BOI), which increased by 30 percent compared to 283 projects approved for the same period last year. 

President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte speaks before the country’s business leaders during a two-day consultative workshop at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City on 21 June 2016. Photo courtesy of Kiwi Bulaclac / Davao City Mayor’s Office

Roque said the increase in the number shows that the country has maintained its momentum in attracting new investments that boost jobs generation for the Filipino workers. 

The official noted that the number of available jobs created from January to October this year reached 69,862, surpassing last year’s record of 51,732 jobs in the country.  

He said debt watcher Moody’s Investors Services predicted the country to grow at 6.5 percent, which is within the government’s target growth rate between 6.5 to 7 percent for 2017. 

“We are on track given that we are already in November so the 6.5 to 7 percent growth rate forecasted by authorities will happen from all indications,” he said. 

Citing a report from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Roque added that the country’s agricultural sector grew at 4.64 percent from January to September 2017 but its growth performance in the 3rd quarter alone was 2.3 percent, with a gross value of P382.5 billion, mostly attributed to growth of production gains in crops, livestock and poultry subsectors.

He said government spending has been on track while noting there was a significant improvement in the absorptive capacity of agencies with regard to the implementation of projects.

Last November 16, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the country can expect a “more riveting growth narrative in the fourth quarter and onwards” as the government intensifies spending on infrastructure and human capital development.

He assured that “Malacañang would be able to maintain fiscal discipline despite the escalated public spending on the Duterte watch owing to its commitment to provide a steady revenue stream for its P8.4-trillion ‘Build, Build, Build’ program through Official Development Assistance packages and the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act bill, which the Congress is expected to pass this fourth quarter.” (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)