A FOREIGN firm came up to Baguio last week and presented its bid to establish faster internet connectivity using ground-based fiber optic fiber cables and they came with endorsements from government offices such as the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and Board of Investments (BOI). While the DICT ensures sustainable growth of Philippine ICT-enabled industries and provides every Filipino access to vital ICT info-structures, BOI, on the other hand, promotes investments and administers incentives for strategic investment projects.
The country has a network of government agencies that are tasked to develop and formulate strategies to make the Philippines among the leading destinations for investments and this is outlined in an investment plan being steered by the Board of Investments.
In my years as a government information officer, I have attended launching programs, press briefings and open-house activities of the so-called ecozones and I’d like to mention the 19 Investment Promotion Agencies of the Philippines.
The Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Area is the first green ecozone in Quezon Province serving as a gateway to the Pacific Region. The Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) is a special economic zone and Freeport in Mariveles, Bataan is the only Freeport in Manila Bay and tagged as the “High-end Fashion Manufacturing Hub” of the Philippines.
The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) is a prime mover of national development as it transformed former military bases and properties into premier centers of economic growth in partnership with the private sector. I have seen the growth of Bonifacio Global City, Clark International Airport and of course Camp John Hay of Baguio City.
At the North-eastern part of Luzon is the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, also a government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) is mandated by law to develop and manage the Cagayan Freeport that covers several municipalities in Cagayan.
The Clark Development Corporation and Clark International Airport Corporation are among the most vibrant investment destinations in the Philippines as these are right at the heart of major places of interest for business, commerce and leisure. The Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga has a 3,200-meter long runway and associated taxiways, aircraft parking apron, a passenger terminal building, and related facilities and considered one of the biggest aviation complexes in Asia.
The John Hay Management Corporation is a subsidiary of BCDA mandated to develop and manage the 301-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone.
The Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) is mandated to attract foreign nationals and former Filipino citizens to retire, invest and reside in the Philippines, with a vision to make our country a leading and significant destination for the world’s retirees, seniors and elderly. There is also a Phividec Industrial Authority (PHIVIDEC IA) that is mandated to encourage, promote and sustain the economic and social growth of the country particularly in Misamis Oriental and municipalities of Tagoloan and Villanueva.
The Poro Point Management Corporation (PPMC) of the former Wallace Air Station, the San Fernando International Seaport and San Fernando Airport are has been turned into a self-sustaining and environmentally sound industrial, commercial, financial, tourism, transshipment, and investment center.
Accordingly, the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has a Regional Board of Investments which serve as the forefront of the Autonomous Regional Government (ARG) in attracting, registering and administering local and foreign investments as well as the granting of incentives to realize ARMM’s greater vision of evolving an economically viable, stable and self-reliant autonomous region. I have also been to the office of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) that operates and implements the development of the 262-square-mile area of the Subic Bay Freeport (SBF) into self-sustaining tourism, industrial, commercial, financial, and investment center.
There is also a Subic Clark Alliance for Development Council (SCAD) means to establish a single, contiguous geographic and economic growth corridor called the SCAD Corridor. The Department of Tourism’s (DOT) implementing arm in providing support infrastructures and facilitating investments in tourism enterprise zones (TEZ) nationwide is the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) that manages existing assets or facilitation of DOT and administers the collection of the Philippine Travel Tax.
Likewise, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) markets and promotes the Philippines domestically and internationally as a world-class tourism destination. Lastly, Southern Philippines has Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority that supports the overall efforts to attract investments to Mindanao by providing a favorable location and environment; ready access to markets, manpower, and other resources; and value-adding services, thereby contributing to regional and national development. With source from the Board of Investments portal.