Catherine Talavera, November 6, 2023; The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The government has approved 16 strategic investment projects worth P336.3 billion for green lane processing as of end-October, according to the Board of Investments (BOI).

The bulk or 11 of the approved projects fall under the renewable energy (RE) sector, consisting mostly of solar projects.

Among these are : SunAsia Energy Inc.’s 1,300-megawatt (MW) floating solar project in Laguna de Bay (P66 billion), NKS Solar One Inc.’s 250-MW floating solar project in Caliraya, Laguna (P14.9 billion), Laguna Wind Energy Corp.’s Kalayaan 2 wind power project (P10.85 billion), Ubay Solar Corp.’s solar power plant (P5.293 billion), Intramuros Solar Energy Corp.’s Gamu Solar power plant (P2.591 billion), and Magallanes Solar Energy Corp.’s Baratoc Viejo solar power project (P5.293 billion).

Also part of the approved energy projects include five projects of ACEN Corp. located in Laguna Lake: SolarAce4 Energy Corp.’s 140-Megawatt peak (MWp) floating solar power plant (P6.25 billion), AC Laguna Solar Inc.’s 280-MWp floating Solar Power Plant (P10.946 billion), AC Subic Solar Inc.’s 280-MWp Floating Solar Power Plant (P12.494 billion), GigaWind1 Inc.’s 280-MWp Floating Solar Power Plant (P12 billion), and Ingrid2 Power Corp.’s 140-MWp floating solar power plant (P6.25 billion).

The approved projects for green lane processing also include two steel producing projects particularly SteelAsia Lemery Works Inc.’s 500,000 metric ton section mill project in Batangas worth P19.3 billion, and Real Steel Corp.’s P10.307 billion reinforcing steel bar production facility with a 600,000 MT capacity.

In addition, the BOI also approved EdgePoint Towers Inc.’s P50 billion common passive telecommunications tower infrastructure,

Phil-tower Consortium Inc.’s built-to-suit common towers (P52.16 billion), and Narra Technology Development Park’s Hyperscale Data Center in New Clark City (P50 billion).

In July, the government officially launched the green lanes for strategic investments, which were established through Executive Order 18 (EO 18) issued in February.

“The green lanes that we have set up will address the barriers across multiple regulatory agencies that hamper the entry and delay the realization of foreign direct investments. By further easing and fast tracking the processes for doing business in the Philippines, we will raise the competitiveness of the country in attracting strategic investments by global enterprises,” Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said earlier.

EO 18 is a government-wide response to enhance the ease of doing business in the country by expediting, streamlining, and automating government processes for strategic investments.

Moreover, the EO also mandates the DTI-BOI to establish a one stop action center for strategic investments, which shall serve as the single point of entry for all projects qualified as strategic investments.

The action center is mandated to identify and designate an investment as strategic investment and endorse the same to concerned NGAs, LGUs, and/or quasi-judicial bodies for processing of permits and licenses.

Strategic investments include highly desirable projects recommended by the Fiscal Incentives Review Board to the Office of the President, foreign direct investments as endorsed by the Inter-agency Investment Promotion Coordination Committee, and priority projects or activities under the Strategic Investment Priority Plan. It also covers the investment pledges presented to the President during his presidential visits.