BOI, HLURB move to streamline processes for housing projects
The Board of Investments inked an agreement with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board to ease the permitting processes for real estate projects.
In a statement, the BOI explained that the memorandum of agreement was aimed at further simplifying the business processes and requirements for housing and real estate projects, thus promoting ease of doing business in the country and making business transactions more investor-friendly.
The agreement will cover locational clearance (LC), development permit (DP), certificate of registration, and the license to sell (CRLS)of subdivision and condominium projects.
“It is important that we offer a conducive business environment to investors, a place where they could quickly set up and process their business requirements. An important first step is to make it easy for them to comply with government requirements,” Trade Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo said.
“By simplifying business processes and requirements, we make a good signal to the business community and this would entice them to invest more housing projects in the country,” Rodolfo added.
Under the agreement, the HLURB shall regularly provide the BOI with copies of all relevant rules and guidelines, and standards on housing and real estate projects. It will also provide the agency with a checklist of all requirements related to LCs, DPs, CRLS of subdivision and condominium projects.
The agreement further allows BOI representatives to assist in the submission and follow up of housing-related applications of projects or transact on behalf of the BOI-registered enterprises including projects that are of economic and environment significance.
The HLURB shall also issue BOI applicants a certified true copy of the annotated LS signed by the regional director containing the following:
annotations on the computation of the social housing compliance required by law;
details of amendments pertaining to number of house and lot packages, and lots only that are for sale; and
in cases where the LS presented to BOI by the firm does not contain details, a subsequent certification can be issued by the HLURB to applicant firms within five working days upon filing of an application.
The BOI, in turn, shall assist its registered business enterprises in the submission and follow up on the applications for LC of projects including the applications for DP and CRLS of subdivision and condominium projects. It is expected to assist the HLURB in disseminating information to BOI-registered enterprises on the requirements for availing LCs, DPs, and CRLS.
The BOI is further tasked to coordinate with the HLURB copies of all relevant rules and guidelines and standards on housing and real estate. At the same time, the BOI shall also initiate and enhance systems of linkages and coordination for the facilitation and resolution of issues and concerns between the two agencies.
The collaboration with other relevant government agencies—through agreements such as this—is one of the various initiatives of the BOI to further enhance its investment facilitation services to clients.
The agency, through its Investments Assistance Center, has earlier signed agreements with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Tourism, Bureau of Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health-Health Facilities Regulatory and Services Bureau and the Department of Agriculture to help companies set up businesses.
Economic and low-cost housing is one of the preferred activities included in the current Investment Priorities Plan.
Investments approved by the BOI in the mass housing sector last year rose by roughly 50 percent to P65.46 million compared to the P43.95 million registered in 2015. These investments are expected to generate 32,055 new jobs.