GREEN LANE. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. meets with Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual and other officials of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) at the State Dining Room of Malacañan Palace in Manila on Tuesday (Nov. 29, 2022). During the meeting, Marcos approved the DTI's proposal to issue an executive order establishing a "green lane" for strategic investments. (Photo courtesy of the Office of the President)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is set to sign an executive order (EO) seeking the creation of "green lane" for strategic investments, Malacañang announced Tuesday.

This, developed after Marcos convened a meeting with Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual and other officials of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) at the State Dining Room of Malacañan Palace in Manila.

"President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. will be signing an Executive Order to promote ease of doing business in the Philippines and make it competitive with other Southeast Asian nations in terms of attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs)," Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS), said in a statement.

"The EO will mandate concerned offices to establish a Green Lane to expedite and streamline the process and requirements for the issuance of permits and licenses, including resolutions of issues concerning strategic investments," she added.

During the meeting, the DTI presented to Marcos the proposed EO after identifying the barrier across multiple regulatory agencies that hamper the smooth entry of FDIs in the country.

Marcos backed the proposal, as he acknowledged that setting up a "green lane" is a "big help" for firms.

“Malaking bagay ‘yun (That's a big help). That will address immediately ‘yung tinatawag na ease of doing business na laging nirereklamo sa atin (the challenges on implementing the ease of doing business in the country),” Marcos, as quoted by the OPS, told DTI officials during the meeting.

The proposed "green lane" policy, Marcos said, would enable the government to change the "extraneous" and "obsolete" procedures.

Strategic investments

Garafil said the proposed EO will cover all national government agencies (NGAs) and their regional and provincial offices, local government units (LGUs) and quasi-judicial bodies involved in issuing permits and licenses necessary for establishing strategic investments in the country.

The strategic investments include "projects of national significance, highly desirable projects endorsed by the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) and FDIs endorsed by the Inter-Agency Investments Promotion Coordination Committee (IAIPCC) or priority projects or activities under the Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP), which are considered as projects of national significance or highly desirable that may be endorsed by the Board of Investments (BOI) of the concerned Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs)."

"The EO mandates NGAs and LGUs to act on a permit or license application not longer than three working days in the case of a simple transaction, seven working days in the case of complex transactions, and 20 working days for highly technical transactions from the date of receipt," she said.

Garafil said a technical working group headed by the DTI’s BOI will be in charge of implementing the EO.

She said a BOI-Investment Assistance Service (BOI-IAS) will become the single point of entry of investment availing of the green lane services endorsed as nationally significant or highly desirable projects.

"Non-compliance with the EO’s provisions will be a ground for administrative and disciplinary sanctions against any erring public officer or employee, as provided under existing laws and regulations," Garafil said.

'More conducive' to business opportunities

The proposed green lane is vital in fulfilling the Marcos administration's goal of making the Philippines "more conducive" to business opportunities, the Office of the President said in a separate Facebook post.

During the meeting, Pascual sought the issuance of an executive order (EO) which allows the creation of a green lane for firms to hasten the processing of their applications for permits and other needed documents.

"DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual presents the proposed creation of an Executive Order (EO) on the provision of guidelines in expediting the process and issuance of permits and licenses for the implementation of strategic investments in the Philippines, and creation of Green Lane," the RTVM said.

"This concerns national government agencies (NGAs), including their regional and provincial offices when applicable, local government units (LGUs) and quasi-judicial bodies," it added. (PNA)