BOI OKs nearly P126 billion investments in 3 months

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Board of Investments (BOI) has approved P125.9 billion worth of investments since the start of the new administration, or from the July to October period.

In a statement issued over the weekend, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the investments were approved by the BOI from July 1 to Oct.8 this year, or since Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual started as head of the agency.

The BOI-approved investments are expected to generate 9,000 jobs.

Since Pascual’s appointment, the DTI also said about $18 billion worth of foreign investment pledges have been raised during the presidential visits in Indonesia, Singapore and the US.

Pascual is part of the Philippine delegation for President Marcos’ state and official visits as such provide an opportunity to attract investments into the country that would help create jobs.

“These investment pledges are in industries of strategic importance, including the establishment of data centers, digital connectivity, renewable energy, textiles and garments, construction, among others,” Pascual said.

Aside from investment promotion efforts, the DTI said Pascual has also made it a priority to address the issues on work-from-home (WFH) arrangements of information technology - business process management (IT-BPM) firms.

Last September, the  Fiscal Incentives Review Board chaired by the Finance Secretary and co-chaired by the Trade Secretary, decided on a seamless transfer of registration from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority to BOI, to allow IT-BPM companies up to 100 percent WFH arrangement without a reduction on existing incentives.

“It is ensured that the mechanism for this should be less burdensome for the registered business enterprises and be done expeditiously,” Pascual said.

Pascual has also signed the implementing rules and regulations for Republic Act 11904 or the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act, which seeks to promote the country’s creative industries by protecting and strengthening the rights and capacities of creative firms, artists, artisans, creators, creative workers, indigenous cultural communities, creative content providers, and other stakeholders.

The DTI said it was also during the initial stage of Pascual’s stint as DTI chief that the Science, Technology, and Innovation-driven Industrialization Strategy 2022 to 2028, which aims for a resilient, sustainable, and inclusive economy, was formulated.

To encourage young entrepreneurs and underserved communities, including low-income and vocational students and college drop-outs to take part of the digital economy, Pascual initiated a partnership with Google for 4,000 scholarships in the Google Career Certificate Courses on IT support, project management, data analytics, and UX design.

To accelerate the digital transformation of micro, small and medium enterprises, which serve as the backbone of the country’s economy, the DTI said it enabled 43,878 MSMEs to adopt e-commerce through online transactions and cashless payments, helped 981 MSME sellers with 4,635 products get onboard digital malls and marketplaces, and mainstreamed 413 MSMEs through the Go Lokal! Program.

When it comes to consumer welfare matters, the DTI said Pascual continues to work to help ensure sufficient food supply at reasonable prices, availability of safe and quality products in the market, and efficient resolution of consumer complaints.

As of date, the DTI said the Diskwento Caravan Balik Eskwela-Presyong Risonable Dapat frozen meat edition, which enables consumers to buy products at more affordable prices, has been conducted in seven cities in the National Capital Region.

In addition, the DTI has conducted 26 inspections and 63 factory audits, issued 13 show cause orders, and tested 726 samples.

Relative to consumer protection, the DTI said it has also issued the Suggested Retail Price Bulletins covering basic necessities and prime commodities, and a price guide for Christmas staples as part of efforts to make sure Filipino consumers have access to reasonably-priced goods during the holiday season.

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