Investments coming to the PH
VIEW FROM CALUMPANG

Investments coming to the PH

Nov 28, 2023, 6:09 AM
Diego S. Cagahastian

Diego S. Cagahastian

Columnist

The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) has published a chart entitled “Aggregate Investment Leads Acquired during the U.S. Working Visit” — presumably the visit of President Bongbong Marcos to the US for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit and other purposes.

The PCO said the investments—pledges, actual, and expected—are in the following sectors of the economy: telecommunications, $400 M, semiconductor and electronics, $250 M, pharmaceutical and healthcare, $20 M, A.I. for weather forecasting, $2 M and renewable energy, $0.3 M.


These investment pledges total US$672,300,000. If they see the light of day, or if even half of these promises are fulfilled, it would mean a big leap for the Philippine economy and plenty of jobs for Filipinos.


President Marcos himself was more than happy about the outcome of the summit and his team’s incessant efforts to sell the Philippines to prospective investors.


Marcos said, “I think that was a very successful meeting. Many of the major economies of the world were represented here and there was a very noticeable concurrence amongst different countries — big, small, rich, not so rich — as to what are the ways to move forward. We talked about climate change… artificial intelligence (AI), food security, energy security, and what part each of us can play in facing those challenges (posed by) the new world economy.”


The above-mentioned chart published by the PCO meanwhile is just a summary of various business contracts agreed and/or signed in the sidelines of the APEC meeting, mostly by the private sectors of the Philippines and the US and their respective governments.


These include the PH-US nuclear power cooperation agreement which provides the nation access to nuclear technologies supply by American companies.


The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) and Ultra Safe Nuclear Cooperation (USNC) signed an exploratory agreement on micro-modular reactors. The cooperative accord with the US-based nuclear developer will afford Meralco to study the deployment of “one or more” small modular reactors (SMR) in the country.


Under the agreement, USNC would conduct a four-month prefeasibility study to “familiarize Meralco) with its proprietary Micro Modular Reactor (MMR) energy system and assess how this could be effectively used locally.


Meralco chairman Manuel Pangilinan is backing this effort, saying “USNC is changing the nuclear safety and energy security conversation in the Philippines with these micro modular reactors. The agreement moves us forward with a partner who understands these important issues alongside the essential nature of the cost and reliability of the electric supply.”


Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla is on the same page, saying this development “facilitates bilateral cooperation in a wide array of other peaceful uses of atomic energy including plant breeding, livestock production, insect pest control, soil and crop management, water use efficiency, plastic waste disposal, food safety, health and medicine.”


Also of importance is another investment accord—this time between the PH government and American firms Astranis and Orbits, on the installation of satellite-enabled internet connectivity in unserved and underserved areas of the country.


Soon, we will have internet service even in the far-flung barangays and in our mountainous areas and our shorelines and beaches.

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