IN A bid to further increase the inflow of investments in Davao Region, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is mulling the installation of a National Economic Research and Business Assistance Center (Nerbac) in all of its field offices.

DTI 11 chief Marizon Loreto told Sun.Star Davao Friday the establishment of Nerbac in the provinces will spur economic activities by making licenses processing easier and assistance easily accessible to the investors.

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At present, the only Nerbac office in Southern Mindanao is located in Davao City.

"Nerbac is the investment arm of DTI. It is responsible in drumbeating the influx of investments to the region. In doing so, the Nerbac provides a number of assistance to businessmen or potential investors depending on their needs," Loreto said.

Loreto underscored the importance of Nerbac's role in attracting investments, citing the preliminary annual report for 2009 of DTI 11 stating that P5.7 billion of the P8.8 billion total investments was generated through the center.

"This only shows that the Nerbac plays a very important role in beefing up the local economy," she said.

Nerbac was created through Republic Act 7470 of 1992. It specifically aims to provide comprehensive and highly integrated business support services to prospective investors.

The center houses in one venue the government's myriad of services for start-up businesses, which include business registration, exports documentation, application for national and local incentives, investment promotion, and knowledge management.

Among the agencies housed in the Nerbac are the Board of Investments, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-Ibig), and Social Security System.

Nerbac-Davao was launched in 2006 and the first of its kind to be established in the country.