by: Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat, July 2017 ---- A total of P128.5 billion worth of investments from the private sector have been approved for Western Visayas, four years after Supertyphoon Yolanda struck the area.

According to the Board of Investments (BOI), the agency has approved 81 projects worth P138.5 since November, 2013 to June, 2017. The Supertyphoon struck the Western Visayas areas on November 8, 2013 leaving over 6,000 dead and huge damage to properties.

These approved investments are expected to generate 10,682 new jobs at their full operation.

Over half of these registered investment projects are energy and power projects, of which 27 are into renewable energy.

The rest are shared by sectors of manufacturing, real estate, agriculture, forestry and fishing, and accommodation and food service.

BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo said they have been implementing a number of initiatives to fast track the socio-economic rehabilitation and re-development of the areas devastated by super-typhoon Yolanda back in 2013.

“This year alone witnessed a construction boom with 12 real-estate projects and nine renewable projects which are set to facilitate the social and economic development in the areas devastated by the super typhoon,” Rodolfo said.

Notable big ticket investments in the Yolanda-stricken areas were into the power sector with P27.19 billion.

These include Langogan Power Corp., P1.272 billion, Palawan; Energy Devt Corp., P16.421 billion;, Iloilo, South Negros Biopower, Negros Occidental, P4.9 billion; Amatera Renewable Energy Corp, Negros Occidental, P4.2 billion; and AES Philippines Energy Storage Co Ltd, Negros Occidental, P3 billion.

Agricultural firm PalletAsia Victorias Corp. also invested P1.4 billion in Negros Occidental.

There were also several investments in housing projects worth P10 billion by property developers Profriends, Filinvest, Communities Iloilo, and Prima Casa Land Iloilo.

(this article was originally published in Manila Bulletin's website)