As the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) took Inclusive Business (IB) under its wings through the 2017-2019 Investments Priorities Plan (IPP), the agency is undertaking an aggressive campaign to further advocate IB which is seen to alleviate poverty through inclusive growth approach by encouraging big businesses to sustainably link with micro small enterprises (MSEs) into the value chain of core businesses. BOI recently moved a notch higher on its IB initiative by advocating to the Negosyo Center frontliners. Inclusive Business was one of the major features during the plenary session of the Negosyo Center Fair at the Megatrade Hall of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.

IBs are innovative models where companies engage the poor and low-income communities as partners, customers, suppliers, and employees in their supply chains not out of charity, but because it makes good business sense. The integration of these communities into global value chains improves their quality of lives and makes for better business with diversified supply and distribution systems. BOI adopted such innovative business model or approach for investment projects planning to register with the agency with the aim of achieving developmental outcomes by integrating the micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in the value chain of medium and large enterprises (MLEs).

Under the General Policies and Specific Guidelines of the 2017-2019 IPP, IB Projects in the agribusiness and tourism sectors may qualify for BOI investment incentives on a pioneer status and is eligible to income tax holiday of five years. The BOI created an IB Unit Office which would be responsible for evaluating investment projects applying for registration with potential IB models.

Assistant Secretary Felicitas Agoncillo-Reyes of the BOI Investments Promotion Services, who is also BOI’s lead on IB, led the plenary session dubbed “Inclusive Business: Creating Opportunities for Our MSMEs” which was the platform for raising awareness and knowledge sharing on IB among the Negosyo Center frontliners. Asec. Reyes underscored the key role of Negosyo Center Mentors in helping MSEs scale-up their businesses by linking them to the value chain of big companies. The session on IB was very significant for the Negosyo Center frontliners as they are the ones who will interface and engage the MSEs on the possible procurement requirements of big companies. She was joined by Anton Palo, Portfolio Manager for Inclusive Business at the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), and Daniel Baumert, Technical Advisor on Inclusive Business from the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA). The two resource persons complemented government’s perspective by providing a private sector view and mentioned initiatives already undertaken by private companies espousing and practicing IB.

“The inclusion of IB in the new IPP is our proactive response to address the administration’s 10-Point Socioeconomic Agenda, particularly in promoting rural and value chain development, by expanding economic opportunities and providing incentives to qualified business activities based on actual results of MSEs involvement in the global value chain” said Assistant Secretary Fe Agoncillo-Reyes.

Top (from left to right): Plenary on Inclusive Business speakers Daniel Baumert, Assistant Secretary Felicitas Agoncillo-Reyes, Anton Palo and Aissa Hermoso; Bottom: Business Matching Activity with MSEs

The plenary provided an overview of IB, a discussion on the IPP guidelines for the evaluation and approval of IB investment projects applying with the BOI.

To actualize the previous discussion on IB during the plenary, the BOI’s Domestic Investments Promotion Service (DIPS) organized a Business Matching activity at the Negosyo Fair, linking seven MSEs with two large companies on the sourcing of raw materials and supplies. “Taking the Big Brother-Small Brother approach to a new level, the activity encourages big companies to source their supply and service requirements from local suppliers instead of importing—helping create new businesses, expand existing ones and generate more jobs for our people,” said Assistant Secretary Reyes.

The Department of Trade and Industry-Regional Operations Group through the Negosyo Center Program organized the Negosyo Fair 2017 to further government’s efforts on MSME development. With the theme, “Build, Link, Transform, Connecting MSMEs, Creating Opportunities,” the Negosyo Fair 2017 is built on MSME Development aspects of capacity building, enterprise development, and linkage.