Lawmaker seeks creation of investments promotion department

MANILA A party-list lawmaker is batting for the creation of a Department of Investment Promotion and Development.

According to a statement on Monday, AANGAT TAYO Rep. Harlin Abayon III filed House Bill 7873, which seeks to create a department that will serve as the lead investment promotion agency of the Philippines, both for foreign and domestic investments.

Abayon said having several investment promotion and area development agencies caused confusion in the business community, created more red tape, and enlarged the bureaucracy, thus resulting in huge loss of government revenue and higher administration costs.

"The economic, social, and political conditions of the country have also vastly changed and continue to change as influenced by various global and domestic factors," Abayon said in his explanatory note.

He said the bill seeks to abolish 21 agencies and transfer its functions to the Department of Investments Promotion.

These agencies include the Board of Investments; Philippine Economic Zone Authority; Public-Private Partnerships Center; Bases Conversion and Development Authority; Clark Development Corporation; Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority; John Hay Management Corporation; PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority; Philippine Retirement Authority; Poro Point Management Corporation; Cagayan Economic Zone Authority; Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan; Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority; Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority; Southern Philippines Development Authority; First Cavite Industrial Estate, Inc.; Duty Free Philippines, Inc; Batangas Land Company; Pinagkaisa Realty Corporation; Kamayan Realty Corporation; and the GY Real Estate, Inc.

Under the bill, the new department shall formulate and implement the Investments Strategy and Action Plan of the country, targeting both foreign and domestic investors.

It shall also harmonize, rationalize, and prioritize in a Comprehensive Investment Incentives Program (CIIP), the grant of national tax and non-tax incentives for small, medium, and large scale investors, industries, institutions, and corporations on the basis of criteria that are performance-based, tightly-targeted, time-bound, and transparent.

The proposed Department of Investment Promotion and Development, in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, will formulate and implement programs, projects, and other activities for capacity-building, including investments research, market and staff development, of local government units.

The bill also seeks the creation of line offices in the proposed department as a response to current dynamics; and to adapt the country to emerging challenges. These include the Commission on Economic Zones and Freeports; Commission on Development Areas and Industrial Estates; Commission on Financial Markets Development; Commission on Local Government Investments; Public-Private Partnerships Bureau; Regional Headquarters and Regional Operating Headquarters Bureau; Retail Trade Promotion Bureau; Expatriate Investors and Investors Visa Processing Bureau; Investor Services and Advisory Bureau; and the Investments Academy. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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