As the retention and continuous generation of local employment becomes the top priority amid these hard times, this year’s Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) would not only give perks to investment-generation activities but would also measure which among these would save jobs, the Board of Investments (BOI) said.
Trade Undersecretary and BOI managing head Elmer Hernandez told reporters that in the recent inter-agency meeting on the 2009 IPP, it was agreed that this year’s IPP would have two parts but and aim to save jobs and continuously generate investments during the global economic slump.
In the upcoming IPP’s proposed “job-saving list,” Hernandez said the following are being considered to qualify for incentives: existing BOI-approved projects which would retain workers or minimize retrenchments; firms which would put up their own training centers and private institutions that would retool and retrain displaced employees; so-called private sector-led help desks, which would assist those interested to put up their own businesses; and “capacity-building” micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), especially those into manufacturing and production, which are expected to generate additional jobs.
He also said the BOI is looking at granting incentives to mergers and acquisitions among existing projects or companies undertaking BOI-approved activities since these would facilitate survival of badly hit enterprises and in turn save jobs.
Hernandez said that while the aforementioned categories seemed so broad and “too open,” BOI is currently working on drafting the “negative list,” to make sure that only activities which are allowed by existing laws would be awarded incentives.
The Trade official said that under Executive Order 226 or The Omnibus Investments Code of 1987, activities that have something to do with banking and financing and those against morals and public safety, could not register with BOI.
Hernandez said they are still working on the guidelines of the job-saving list, which would be subject to further public consultation. The BOI is also working on the particular incentives which would be given to those who would qualify for this list.
Meanwhile, Hernandez said the 2009 IPP’s investment-generation list would give perks to: Agriculture, fisheries and food production activities; all forms of infrastructure projects which are purely funded by the private sector or by public-private partnership agreements with government-owned and controlled corporations; and both voice and nonvoice business process outsourcing investments.
The businesses that would qualify for perks include those in the creative industries, including information technology-enabled services such as animation, engineering design and software development, and also television and film projects; tourism-related activities; “strategic” industries such as automotive and motor vehicle, iron and steel production and basic manufacturing activities; and those in the mandatory listing as per the 2007 IPP such as the exports and mining sectors, among others. –Ben Arnold O. de Vera, Reporter, Manila Times