Marcos travels produce $19B in active projects

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Monday that around 65 projects worth around $19 billion have been initiated as a result of deals secured during the President’s overseas trips.

In a briefing, Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said the tally of projects is as of June, and that they are in various stages of the investment process. 

“There are $19 billion (in investments) already cleared and registered with investment promotion agencies (IPAs). These investments are under categories four, five, and six,” he said, referring to the classification system for progress made on investment projects.

Of the projects that have been set in motion, 12 are in category 6, meaning they are operating and are registered with an investment promotion agency. These are valued at $328 million. 

Investments in category 5, covering projects that have registered with IPAs but not yet operating, were estimated at $1.6 billion.

The 32 projects under category 4, which are in the process of registering, are worth $17 billion.

The 65 projects accounted for 30% of the $61.3 billion worth of investment leads gathered during the President’s trips. The leads cover 201 projects and exclude 30 public-private partnerships.

Separately, the DTI said that it is confident that the Board of Investments (BoI) will hit its approvals target of P1.5 trillion this year.

“We hit P1.2 trillion (last year). This target is meant to motivate the people from BoI to solicit more projects,” Mr. Pascual said.

In May, the BoI approved P27.41 billion worth of investment proposals, down 23% from a year earlier. This brought the five-month approved investments total to P640.22 billion.

“That’s the highest first five months’ registration in our 57-year history,” Trade Undersecretary and BoI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo said. “I think we are on track.”

He said foreign travels will play a major role in encouraging more investment.

Last year, the BoI approved P1.26 trillion worth of investments, missing its P1.5 trillion internal target, which had been stretched from the initial P1 trillion goal set by the DTI in early 2023. — Justine Irish D. Tabile