It was indeed an occasion of recognition, thanksgiving, and celebration as the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), the industry development and investments promotion arm of the Department of Trade & Industry, gathered last October 9, 2017 for the 2017 Guinogulan Awards and Philippines Night, all its significant stakeholders in the past 50 years in building stronger industries and promoting strategic investments.

Held at the Reception Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City, DTI Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez led the event which is the culmination of the agency’s year-long celebration of its 50th Founding Anniversary along with the agency’s past and present leaders, retired and current crop of young and veteran employees, strategic partners from the government and the private sector, and BOI-registered enterprises.

“Since the agency’s founding on September 16, 1967 by virtue of Executive Order No. 226 or the Omnibus Investments Code, the BOI has registered 15,161 investment projects with a total value of Php6.38 trillion up to September of this year,” said Secretary Lopez in his key message adding that for the year alone, the agency already approved P381 billion as of end September, or about 76 percent of its Php500 billion target for the year.

“We are expecting to even exceed our target with local and foreign investors keenly exploring opportunities in energy, infrastructure and agribusiness. Investors are also banking on the construction boom as a result of the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program of the government, and to sustain this, they are also looking at the energy requirements to get this done,” he said.

But quite apart from mentioning plainly the achievements and accomplishments of the BOI, Secretary Lopez also shared how the BOI’s work translates to actually benefiting the Filipino people. He emphasized BOI’s efforts isn’t just about high-level investments but people on the ground also feeling these effects, citing some of the notable investment projects that has improved the lives of the Filipino people.

“All of these investment projects are keenly being studied by the project evaluation teams of BOI. May it be big or small, our technically-abled men and women of BOI with various expertise in engineering, law, economics, marketing, and among many diverse number of industries, made sure that these projects are impactful, socially-relevant, and promotes innovation,” he said. “More importantly, BOI registered investment projects are mostly labor intensive. I am proud to report that for the entire 50 years of its existence, registered investments with the BOI generated around 2,116,257 of quality jobs for the Filipino people. Of course, we also make sure too that these projects are of national interest and makes responsible use of the country’s resources,” he added.

Ginintuang Habi Awards

As BOI’s gesture of appreciating its strategic partners, the agency conferred the Ginintuang Habi Awards to selected government agencies and private sector groups and associations. The Ginintuang Habi symbolizes the interweaving of efforts of BOI partners and their roles and functions in bringing about a conducive investment environment in the Philippines. Receiving the awards in behalf of these partners are the Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) representing the foreign chambers and associations, and the Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) representing the various industry associations and groups.

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Left photo: DTI Undersecretary and BOI Governor Nora Terrado (left) and BOI Governor Napoleon Concepcion (right) with Mr. Meneleo Carlos (middle) who received the Ginintuang Habi Award on behalf of all the private sector and industry association groups partners of BOI. Right photo: Undersecretary Terrado and Governor Concepcion with Mr. John Forbes (middle) who received the award on behalf of all the foreign chambers and associations partners of BOI.

Lingkod BOI Awards

From BOI partner agencies and organizations, also honored were the many outstanding men and women who have given their time, talent, and passion, and some of the best years of their lives in the service of the BOI. The Lingkod BOI Awards were given to the past BOI Leaders who blazed the trail and shared so much of their selves in the service of the country and nation building. The Lingkod BOI Awardees received a sculpture from distinguished sculpture and muralist Impy Pilapil.

Handed the Impy Pilapil sculpture were: (Lingkod BOI) Cristino Panlilio, Vincent Perez, Dakila Fonacier, and Raul Hernandez (posthumous); (Ginintuang Lingkod BOI) Tomas Alcantara, Melito Salazar Jr., Gregory Domingo, Adrian Cristobal, Lilia Bautista, Thomas Aquino, Ofelia Bulaong, Lucita Reyes, Elmer Hernandez, and Edgardo Tordesillas; and (Natatanging Lingkod BOI) former Prime Minister and BOI Founding Chairman Cesar Virata, and former President and now Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

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Secretary Lopez (utmost left) and Undersecretary Terrado (utmost right) with the past trailblazer BOI Leaders who were handed the Lingkod BOI Awards (from left to right): Secretary/Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr., Secretary/Undersecretary Gregory Domingo, Undersecretary Vince Perez, Undersecretary Tomas Alcantara, Steven Virata (representing Prime Minister and BOI Founding Chairman Cesar Virata), Secretary Raul Lambino of CEZA (representing President/BOI Governor Gloria Arroyo), Undersecretary Elmer Hernandez, Undersecretary Melito Salazar, Governor Ofelia Bulaong, Secretary/Undersecretary Lilia Bautista, Ronald Reyes (representing Governor Lucita Reyes), Criselle Panlilio-Alejandro (representing Undersecretary Cristino Panlilio), and Governor Thomas Aquino.

2017 BOI Guinogulan Awards

The highlight of the event was the conferment of the 2017 BOI Guinogulan Awards. The Guinogulan Awards were given to BOI registered firms for their excellence and exemplary performances in significantly contributing to the economic growth of the country.

Inspired by the native Filipino word “Guinogulan” which literally means “Lord of Golds”, the brand of citation will recognize BOI registered that show excellence and significant contribution to the country’s economic growth through capital infusion, employment generation, introduction of new technologies and innovation, implementation of community relations, economic linkages, and adoption of Inclusive Business models in their operations.

The Awardees were handed the masterpieces of art crafted by world-renowned artist Ramon Orlina. Etched and sculptured from solid glass, the pieces reflect the Orlina tenets of originality, improvisation, and innovation.

According to Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo, the award does not only supports Philippine global branding but also “further highlights the competitive advantages of doing business in the Philippines with the awardees as living proofs and testimonies to the viability and profitability of doing business in the country.”

The Guinogulan Awards is also a platform to inform that success stories of registered micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who are able to thrive and even expand, and have successfully integrated their operations in global value chains.

The Guinogulan Awards were given to Royal Touch International Corporation (Micro Enterprise), Dekokcraft Incorporated (Small Enterprise), Interior Crafts of the Islands (Medium Enterprise), and International Container Terminal Services Incorporated (Large Enterprise). Kenram Palmoil Industries Incorporated meanwhile was hailed as the awardee for the 2017 Guinogulan Awards for Business Excellence or Most Outstanding Business Enterprise.

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Secretary Lopez (left) and Undersecretary Terrado (right) with the recipients of the 2017 BOI Guinogulan Awards.

After a thorough evaluation by the award’s Criteria and Selection Committee, Kenram was adjudged as the winner for its investment project’s significant impact to the community through the implementation of an Inclusive Business model into the company’s operations and the business activity’s impact and contribution to the country’s economic growth.

Kenram is a producer of crude palm oil and kernel with plantations based in Sultan Kudarat. It was registered with the BOI on June 25, 2013. Kenram services about 810 individual palm oil growers and cooperatives farming approximately 16,500 hectares in the SOCCSKSARGEN region and Maguindanao province. At the average of one worker per three hectares, the total number of workers directly employed by the industry in the region is about 5,500. The number does not include the employment generated by other support services such as the truckers, fertilizer suppliers, etc.

To encourage more farmers to engage in oil palm growing, Kenram extends financial support by way of advancing the costs of imported and high-breed oil palm pre-germinated seedlings and fertilizers.

These advances will be paid by the farmers through staggered deductions from the proceeds of the FFBs when the trees start producing fruits three years later. Kenram also provides agronomic assistance to all its outgrowers such as free training and seminars on oil palm plantings, proper farm maintenance and management, latest harvesting technology and best practices to increase yields. Each farmer is assigned a Kenram oil palm specialist/agronomist who conducts regular visits to the farm to inspect the plantations, give technical advice and ensure problems, if any, are properly addressed.
Considered as the most modern and efficient Palm Oil Mill in the country, it contributes greatly to the domestic requirements of crude palm oil; hence lessening the country’s import of palm oil products which in 2016 is estimated to be about 956,000 MT valued at approximately US$600 million.

An ISO 9001:2015 certified entity with Certificate No. PH1228 acquired on October 24, 2016, Kenram is committed to providing high quality products through efficient and systematized implementation of mill processing operations. This is accomplished by ensuring that its 135 regular employees, 50 security personnel and 20 to 30 support group are happy and motivated to work.♦