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Gov’t agencies discuss how to fast-track investment processing in PH

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Aiming to provide fast investment facilitation and ease of doing business for investors, the Board of Investments (BOI) spearheaded the first Investment Promotion Unit Network (IPU-Net) meeting, together with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) at the DILG-NAPOLCOM Office in Quezon City on June 27.

As the IPU-Network Secretariat, BOI convened the 36-member agency to discuss recurring issues faced by local and foreign investors. The agenda included various concerns about the business environment, particularly business registration, tax-related issues, import procedures, consistency of the investment framework, developments in the industrial sector, and other relevant matters aimed at improving the business environment in the Philippines.

In his opening remarks, BOI Executive Director Bobby G. Fondevilla emphasized the critical need for ongoing collaboration and coordination among the agencies to ensure policy improvements and alignment.

“The Board of Investments, as the Secretariat of IPU-Net, convenes the 36-member agency semi-annually to tackle recurring issues and address the complex challenges within the business environment. This continuous dialogue is essential for fostering a more conducive and streamlined investment climate in the Philippines,” Executive Director Fondevilla stated.

Representatives from various members of IPU-Net attended the 1st coordination meeting, which was spearheaded by the Board of Investments, at the DILG-NAPOLCOM Office, Quezon City on June 27, 2024.

Facilitated by the BOI Investments Assistance Service, the meeting addressed several key issues, including the registration of juridical entities, value-added tax (VAT) refund applications, customs procedures and requirements, applications for licenses to operate and product registrations, the process of land conversion, tree-cutting permit applications, securing favorable endorsements from local government units, an overview of Executive Order No. 59 (Infrastructure Flagship Projects), and energy transmission concerns.

“The commitments we make following this meeting will enhance the business environment, attracting more investments, creating jobs, and improving the perception of investors in our country,” Executive Director Fondevilla added.

Significantly, the concerned agencies responded to the issues, provided policy updates, and recommended ways forward to ensure no unnecessary delays in government processes. Proposals included the adoption of strategies aimed at the digitalization of government operations, streamlining business registration and land conversion applications, and securing favorable endorsements from LGUs, among others.

Additionally, the agencies assured continued updates and coordination with relevant government bodies to expedite the resolution of issues raised during the meeting.

Agencies were also recognized for their initiatives to address investor issues, such as the passage of the Ease of Paying Taxes Act, the integration of government services into the e-Gov super application, and the designation of Green Lane focal units for Executive Order No. 18. A proposal to institutionalize the IPU-Network through the execution of a Joint Memorandum Circular was also discussed, and a proposition to rename the IPU-Network to Investment Facilitation Unit Network.

BOI’s Investment Assistance Service (IAS) Director Ernesto C. Delos Reyes, Jr. concluded the meeting by emphasizing that the achievements from this meeting would remain theoretical unless efforts are made to implement the commitments. He called on all agencies to stay fully engaged and committed to supporting the streamlining and expediting of government processes for the country.

Among the agencies present were the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), DENR-Forest Management Bureau (FMB), DENR-Land Management Bureau (LMB), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Transportation (DOTr), Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP), Bureau of Customs (BOC), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Justice-Bureau of Immigration (DOJ-BI), Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), and Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP).

The Inter-Agency meeting served as a platform for fruitful discussions and exchange of information among the participating agencies, all working towards improving the business environment in the country.

Through a whole-of-government approach, IPU-Net remains committed to sustaining government efforts in facilitating issues and concerns with immediate actions, speeding up procedures, and ensuring seamless coordination among its members to address all investment-related transactions.

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