A LOCAL investment official sees fewer investments registered with the Board of Investments (BOI) in Cebu this year.

Philip Torres of BOI Cebu warned that should the draft Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) 2017-2019 be approved within the year, this will pull down BOI-registered projects in Cebu since investment pledges are currently driven by the mass housing sector.

Under the draft IPP, mass housing units beyond P2 million are no longer eligible for BOI incentives. Previously, Torres said they maintained a P3-million ceiling.

The IPP is a list of government priority projects that are entitled to a package of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, including income tax holidays up to eight years.

Preliminary data from BOI Cebu show that investments in the first 10 months of 2016 reached P27.3 billion, 6.7 percent higher than the P25.6 billion registered in the whole year of 2015.

Out of the 15 projects that have registered with the BOI from January to October last year, 13 are mass housing projects from Kenrich Development Corp., 77 Living Spaces Inc., Johndorf Ventures Corp., ALPA Land Inc., Pacific Grande Realty and Development Corp., Limbros Realty and Development Corp., Cebu Landmasters Inc., and 8990 Housing Development Corp.

Non-housing projects include a wind power project worth P6.6 billion from Amihan Energy Corp. in the town of Balamban and the transportation and storage project of GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. valued at P16.8 billion.

Torres said that the new IPP may hurt BOI registrations this year until 2019, stressing that most developers cannot afford to bring down the value of their housing units given the increasing cost of construction materials and raw land.

He hopes big-ticket projects will register with BOI Cebu within the year to cover the foreseen decline in mass housing investments.

Aside from mass housing, the draft IPP 2017-2019 has listed eight other preferred activities, namely, drug rehabilitation centers, all manufacturing activities including agri-processing, agriculture and fishery; strategic services; infrastructure and logistics including public-private partnership participated by local governent units (LGU); innovation services; inclusive business models; and environment or climage change-related projects.