BOI Stripped Of Regulatory Powers, Peza To Take Over Functions
Posted on Mar 21 2012 by admin

This is a re-posted article.

MANILA, Philippines — The Board of Investments would be stripped of its powers to register projects and administer tax incentives to investors as these functions would be transferred to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) with the BoI being transformed into a purely investment promotions agency of the government.

This proposed restructuring of the BoI is contained under the draft Senate Bill “An Act Rationalizing the Grant and Administration of Fiscal Incentives for the Promotion of Investments and Growth, and for Other Purposes”, which was formulated by the Department of Finance.

As the bill suggests, the BoI would be stripped of its powerful function of registering and granting tax incentives and its role would be refocused to become the country's principal investments promotion agency.

As the government’s main investment promotion agency, BoI’s functions would include the development of an investment promotion strategy for the Philippines; formulate, coordinate, and monitor investment promotion activities; target, project, and generate investment opportunities; identify effective marketing methods and approaches to promote investment; service the needs of investment clients; formulate position on bilateral, regional or multilateral investments agreements or arrangements with respect to investment promotion; and exercise all powers necessary or incidental to fulfill its mandate as the principal investment promotions agency of the country.

At present, the BoI is directly under the Department of Trade and Industry and is chaired by the DTI Secretary, just like PEZA. BoI has been on top of all the investment promotion agencies of the government and is primarily responsible in the crafting of the Investment Priorities Plan (IPP), an annual list of projects that are entitled to government tax and fiscal incentives. The IPP also serves as the guidebook for all IPAs.

Under the DOF-backed bill, however, the BoI has to relinquish its powers in favor of PEZA, which in turn would have an expanded role and would end up to become a powerful government agency regulating the grant and administration of tax and fiscal incentives to investors.

PEZA shall be responsible for administering all investment incentives to registered enterprises under the law, including those registered by other IPAs other than itself, the draft bill said.

PEZA shall also be responsible for both registering and administering incentives to export industries in less developed areas that may qualify for tax and non-tax incentives.

Under its existing charter, PEZA is mandated to grant tax and fiscal incentives to its registered export-oriented enterprises located in various economic zones in the country. PEZA’s policy against bureaucratic redtape and a pro-investor strategy have earned the agency and for Director-general Lilia B. De Lima kudos from both local and foreign investors.

The bill also provides that except for the BoI, the respective charters of PEZA and other investment generating agencies or “authorities” shall continue to be in force. (BCM)
By: Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Source: Manila Bulletin, March 19, 2012
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