Yu: Osmeña mulls reviving investments promotions agency
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - June 1, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Although the re-establishment of the Cebu Investment and Promotions Center (CIPC) is still uncertain, the new Cebu City administration to be led by Tomas Osmeña vowed to regain its active stance in investment promotions.

Joel Mari S. Yu, the managing director of the defunct CIPC, is back in selling and promoting the City to investors, not to re-open CIPC (yet), but as the Mayor's Business Adviser, and to head the Cebu City Business Economic Development and Investment Promotion.

Yu said Osmeña is considering to re-open CIPC, only if Yu will agree to manage it again.

However, Yu maintained that after CIPC was dissolved by the previous administration, he can’t "recover" the good people behind it, adding that he is not willing to start again, "I’m too old for that."

Meanwhile, Yu will be helping the Mayor as consultant in the investment and promotion activities of the city.

Initially, aside from meeting with the commercial attachés, visiting investors, trade missions, Yu said, Osmeña also instructed him to grow the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) sector to its maximum level, at least to hit the 200 thousand BPO employees in the next three years, from roughly 130 thousand today.

Even before the official turn-over on June 30, Yu had already been meeting with visiting investors to Cebu. He mentioned yesterday's visit of a delegation from Bank of China.

In 2013, the Cebu City government headed by Mayor Michael Rama decided to shut down the operation of CIPC allegedly due to political and management issues.

But stakeholders felt that the absence of a promotion center is considered a step-backward for the province.

"Everyone is trying to emulate what Cebu had been doing in the last few years in its efficiency in accommodating and attracting investors. The [temporary] absence of an investment and promotions agency is a step backward for Cebu. Now, investors and would-be investors have no one to turn to," said former Tholons executive Jonathan De Luzuriaga,

De Luzuriaga expressed apprehensions that if Cebu will not act on establishing an investment and promotions center, it may affect largely its position as one of the favorite investment destinations not only for outsourcing investments, but across industries like tourism, manufacturing, among others.

A single day is wasted without an agency that will properly handle the important inquiries of interested investors, which information requirements can only be sourced in a single dedicated office like that of an investment and promotion center, De Luzuriaga emphasized.

Aside from promoting Cebu to investors, Yu is also tasked to develop the MSME community, wherein he said this group's concerns can only be summed up in word "access."

Access to finance, to market and technology are just few of the programs that will be implemented by the Osmeña government, in close coordination with concerned national agencies like Department of Trade and Industry.

Yu served in DTI several years ago as Assistant Secretary, now he is doing consultancy services in the same department, as well as consultant to other private companies. — (FREEMAN)

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