Philippines Posts 71% Plunge in Investments During Lockdowns

(Bloomberg) -- Planned investments in the Philippines from January to April fell 71% from a year ago to 84.1 billion pesos ($1.7 billion) as lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the economy.

Local commitments approved by the Board of Investments fell 68% year-o-year, while foreign pledges dropped 80%, the agency said. Investments from France, Japan and Malaysia were among the 70 projects that secured approval.

The government had to reconfirm if proponents were still committed to pursue their projects amid the virus outbreak, partly causing a slowdown in approvals, BOI head Ceferino Rodolfo said. “So far, the investors remain solidly optimistic about the medium-to-long-term prospects of the country.”

Key Insights

  • Some manufacturing companies have shifted to producing critical products like ventilators, disinfectants and protective equipment for health workers, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in the same statement.
  • The Southeast Asian nation can produce nearly 25 million masks for the local market by end-May, up from 7 million before the outbreak, Lopez said.

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