Home Top News BoI says ‘green lane’ investments hit P2.3T

BoI says ‘green lane’ investments hit P2.3T

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REUTERS

By Justine Irish D. Tabile, Reporter

ABOUT P2.32 trillion worth of projects, mostly in renewable energy (RE), have been approved to go through the “green lane” system as of June 20, the Board of Investments (BoI) said on Wednesday.

Data from the BoI showed that 74 projects worth P2.32 trillion have been endorsed to its One-Stop Action Center for Strategic Investments (OSACSI) since it was established last year.

The majority or 65 of the projects certified for green lane are RE projects with a combined cost of P1.95 trillion.

The Philippine government saw increased investments in RE projects after it allowed full foreign ownership in the sector starting in November 2022. Foreign ownership in RE projects used to be limited to 40%.

Foreign nationals and foreign-owned entities are now allowed to explore, develop and use RE resources such as solar, wind, biomass, ocean and tidal energy.

Five of the green lane-certified projects are digital infrastructure projects worth P338.23 billion, while two are food security projects worth P3.4 billion. There are also two manufacturing projects worth P29.61 billion that will get the green lane treatment.

For June alone, P265.47 billion worth of projects were certified to undergo green lane processing, including a P183.21-billion solar project in Luzon.

This brought the number of projects through the green lane system this year to 52, with total project cost of about P1.89 billion.

The government, through Executive Order (EO) No. 18, established the “green lane” in all government agencies to speed up the approval and registration process for priority or strategic investments.

“Out of the 74 projects (approved since last year), 32 are already registered with the BoI with a total project cost of P1.31 trillion, while 42 projects are still being eyed for registration or considered investment leads worth P1.02 trillion,” the BoI said.

On Monday, the BoI reported that it approved P27.41 billion worth of investment pledges last month, which brought approved investments in the first five months to P640.22 billion. During the five-month period, the RE sector accounted for P607.47 billion of the total investments.

Meanwhile, there are 59 projects worth P792.71 billion that have pending applications for green lane certification, according to BoI. Of the 59, 37 are RE projects worth P709.36 billion.

Ernesto C. Delos Reyes, Jr., BoI director for Investment Assistance Service and OSACSI, said these projects mainly lack requirements that are related to the financial capability of the investor.

“We put this as a requirement for green lane to avoid giving a green lane certificate to an investor who does not have the capacity to sustain the project,” Mr. Delos Reyes said in a Viber message.

“That is why we are looking at their projected cash flow and seeking commitment from their parent company that they are willing to put in additional investment capital to support the project,” he added.

To further improve ease of doing business, the BoI said that the OSACSI has been working with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).

In its talks with the DENR, the OSACSI proposed that the Department of Energy issue a special power of attorney to RE developers to allow them to acquire tree-cutting permits without needing a land title.

Meanwhile, the OSACSI received a commitment from the NGCP that it “will prioritize and expedite the processing of system impact studies and applications for connectivity to the grid submitted by green lane projects.”

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