Duterte okays 2020 Investment Priorities Plan

By Azer Parrocha

November 19, 2020, 9:06 pm

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the 2020 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) of the Board of Investments (BOI) which contains among others, all qualified activities relating to the fight against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic and the “Balik Probinsya” program.

The IPP is the government’s blueprint of priority economic activities that qualify for fiscal incentives.

Under Memorandum Order No. 50 signed by Duterte on Thursday, the IPP covers the production or manufacture of medicines, medical equipment and devices, personal protective equipment (PPE), surgical equipment and supplies, among others.

The eight-page memo also covers the provision of services such as but not limited to crematoriums, health waste treatment and disposal, laboratories, test facilities, hospitals, and quarantine facilities.

Also covered are investments in activities supportive of programs that generate employment opportunities outside congested urban areas such as the Balik Probinsya Program.

The Balik Probinsya Program, institutionalized by Duterte last May, aims to address Metro Manila's congested urban areas by encouraging people, especially informal settlers, to return to their home province.

All qualified manufacturing activities including agro-processing; agriculture, fishery, and forestry; strategic services; healthcare and disaster risk reduction management services; mass housing; infrastructure and logistics including public-private partnership projects implemented by local government units; innovation drivers; inclusive business models; environment or climate change-related projects; and energy are also covered.

The IPP also contains a list of priority investment areas for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) such as export activities; agriculture, agribusiness, aquaculture, and fishery; basic industries; infrastructure and services; industrial service facilities; engineering industries; logistics; enterprises using the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) framework on trade and investments; tourism; health and education services and facilities; Halal industry; investment operations under Republic Act No. 11439 or An Act Providing for the Regulation and Organization of Islamic Banks; and energy.

Upon effectivity of the IPP, all government agencies and entities are enjoined to issue the necessary regulations to ensure its implementation in a synchronized and integrated manner.

In the grant to incentives, it is understood that Board of Investment will ensure the attainment of and consistency with state policies under Executive Order No. 226, or the Omnibus Investments Code and national goals under Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act (Bayanihan 1) and R.A. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2).

BOI chairman, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, must render an annual report to the President on the accomplishments and implementation of the IPP.

Memorandum Order No. 50 will take effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation. (PNA)