DavNor LGUs' investments, incentives code integrated

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Sunday, August 17, 2014


THE recently approved Davao del Norte Local Investments and Incentives Code (LIIC) will harmonize the LIICs of the local government units (LGUs) of the province in order to have a unified direction in terms of investment priorities.

The Davao del Norte LIIC was approved last March 17 after its final public hearing in the Provincial Board. It is the first harmonized LIIC in Davao region.

"When my predecessors looked at the LIICs of the local government units (LGUs) in the province, it was found out that the LIICs are not aligned or harmonized. For example, there are LIICs of some LGUs that need to be updated while there are some that have provisions that are conflicting with other LIICs," said Romeo L. Castañaga, Department of Trade and Industry-Davao del Norte officer-in-charge, during the Tagum Biz Talk at Big 8 Hotel on Tuesday last week.

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Castañaga said it is the provincial office's initiative to harmonize the province's LIICs in terms of chapters, substance, priority investment areas, and form, among others.

The Davao del Norte LIIC can be the basis of the province's LGUs in updating their investment codes.

"What will happen now is they (LGUs) will adopt [the provincial LIIC] and change some of the variables like name of LGU, range of incentives, and priority investment areas. The narratives of the provincial LIICs are relevant to most LGUs," he said.

Aside from aligning the LIICs of the LGUs and the provincial unit, the LIIC has also aligned itself to Regional Development Plan and has been integrated with the Philippine MSME Development Framework 2011-2016.

Other features of the Davao del Norte LIIC are: integration of global themes (i.e. climate change and migration); promotion of sustainable agriculture; expanded coverage to include pioneering and distressed projects on top of the current new or expansion projects; graduate mode in the grant of incentives; expanded non-fiscal incentives; defined duties and responsibilities of grantees to ensure responsible conduct of business; comprehensive investment priority areas (IPAs) while allowing LGUs to choose only IPAs based on competitive advantages; and strengthen governance framework for investment promotions.

"The provincial incentive code covers almost everything that is in the province so that we will have more flexibility in terms of the priorities of the municipalities," said Castañaga.

This is also part of their mandate to provide assistance to the LGUs by capacitating their investment units, their capability to attract investments, and ease of doing business.

Castañaga, in a separate phone interview, said they are now promoting this model to other provinces.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 18, 2014.

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