BOI eyes more jobs in manufacturing sector

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/07 January) —The Board of Investments (BOI) targets more projects in the manufacturing and other labor-intensive sectors this year to fulfill the Aquino government’s commitment to generate more jobs for the people.

BOI Governor Pelagio Ricalde said the government targets to generate more investments now that the economy has reportedly recovered from the global financial crisis that plunged the world’s leading economies into a recession in the previous years.

Lucita Reyes, executive director of the BOI project assessment group, said that in 2010 alone, BOI registered P301.8 billion worth of investments, or 5.15 percent more of its P287-billion target for the period.

Reyes said the bulk of the investments generated last year came from the sale of the assets of the National Power Corporation (NPC) scheduled under the government’s privatization program.

Ricalde and Reyes were in Davao City on Friday for a public hearing on the investment priority plan 2011 attended by Davao businessmen and traders at the Apo View Hotel.

Ricalde said that BOI is also studying the provisions of the Local Government Code and their impact on businesses trying to invest in a locality. He said that to make a place investment-friendly, there is a need to streamline processes and increase the transparency of local government units.

“For as long as businessmen are aware what the procedures are and they know how long it will take for them to process their documents and for as long as the rules are not changed midstream, they will be encouraged to put up their businesses,” Ricalde said.

“We want the local government units to be as efficient as possible to entice more investments to come in,” he said.

The government has been offering incentives, depending on the project’s net value-added, job generation and multiplier effect, on preferred investment activities which include agriculture, agribusiness and fishery, creative industries such as business processes outsourcing (BPO), information technology  and IT-enabled services, film and performing arts, shipbuilding (and shipbreaking), mass housing, energy, infrastructure and research and development, green projects, tourism, strategic projects and the solicited projects under the public-private partnership program of the Aquino government.

Priority investment areas in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao also include export activities, agriculture, agribusiness, aquaculture and fishery, and energy-related activities. (Germelina Lacorte/MindaNews)