Bongbong Marcos admin orders setting up ‘green lanes’ for strategic investments
MANILA, Philippines — The administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has ordered the establishment of “green lanes” for strategic investments in concerned government agencies and local government units.
This is to “promote the Philippines as a top investment destination,” the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said on Friday.
This was contained in Executive Order No. 18 dated Feb 23, 2023 and signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin.
In the order, Marcos said the move is consistent with the eight-point agenda of the administration and “as part of the continuing efforts of implementing ease of doing business reforms, it is imperative to adopt measures that will expedite transactions with the government.”
The President also noted that EO 18 covers all national government agencies (NGAs) and their regional and provincial offices, government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and other government instrumentalities, as well as local government units (LGUs), involved in the issuance of permits, licenses, certifications or authorizations (collectively referred to as ‘permit/s and/or license/s’) covering strategic investments.
Under the order, strategic investments are defined as those aligned with the Philippine Development Plan or any similar national development plan and can be characterized by the following:
- significant capital or investment to the country
- consequential economic impact
- positive impact on the environment
- significant contribution to the country’s balance of payments
- with complex technical processes and engineering designs
- will improve the country’s infrastructure capabilities
Strategic investments, according to the EO, would include highly desirable projects, foreign direct investments and projects or activities under the Strategic Investment Priority Plan.
The PCO said that within six months from the issuance of the EO, the Department of Trade and Industry-Board of Investments (DTI-BOI) shall establish a One-Stop-Action-Center for Strategic Investments (OSAC-SI), which will serve as the single point of entry for all projects qualified as strategic investments.
Aside from addressing investor concerns such as identifying strategic investments, the OSAC-SI will also include aftercare or post-investment assistance as part of its services.
According to the PCO, the DTI-BOI, within three months from the issuance of the order, shall produce and regularly update an investor manual or guidebook or its equivalent, containing the list of government requirements for the establishment of strategic investments per sector, as well as the concerned NGAs, LGUs or quasi-judicial bodies issuing relevant permits and licenses.
“The DTI-BOI will be supported by additional manpower, including the designation of Account Officers for Strategic Investments, as well as equipment necessary to operationalize the OSAC-SI, in coordination with the Department of Budget and Management,” the order read.
The EO also directs the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to make available to LGUs the software for the computerization of the business permit and licensing system, with the help of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
A Technical Working Group (TWG), which would be headed by the DTI-BOI, will also be formed to ensure the implementation of the EO, the PCO said.
Member-agencies of the TWG include the DTI, DILG, Department of Finance, National Economic and Development Authority and the Anti-Red Tape Authority.