By Kris Crismundo

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – Some PHP22 billion worth of projects sealed during the foreign visits of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. this year are already operational, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said Friday.

Rodolfo said the projects are part of the PHP4.019-trillion investment pledges bagged by the Chief Executive during his official business trips.

“PHP22 billion are already operating as we speak now, which means these facilities that were promised (by investors) to our President are already running,” Rodolfo said during the Bagong Pilipinas briefing.

This year, Marcos went to nine countries — China, Switzerland, Japan, United States, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

He went to Japan, US, and Indonesia twice.

He said the 148 projects with committments from foreign investors are “transformative type(s).”

“What we want under the leadership of President Marcos Jr. is really to transform the Philippine economy, Philippine industries. You can see that [what] the President really advocated [for] during his foreign travels, in his investment missions are industries that will transform the Philippines, in particular renewable energy projects and digitalization projects,” he said.

The senior trade official said many of the investments in the pipeline are expected to enter the country in 2024 and can be registered with the DTI-attached investment promotion agencies Board of Investments and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.

Earlier, the government reported that the investment commitments from the foreign trips of the Chief Executive generated some 150,000 to 200,000 jobs.

Rodolfo noted that these jobs from these investment pledges are expected to multiply in the following years.

“What we see is these 150,000 jobs, they can still increase to 500,000 jobs within the next three to four years,” he said.

In order to continue attracting foreign investors into the country, Rodolfo said the government should focus on improving the ease of doing business in the country. (PNA)