The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) has approved the application for registration of Maison Galuchat Inc.’s Php9.13 million project in Cabancalan, Mandaue City.

Maison will manufacture furniture and accessories and export 100 percent of its production in Asia, Europe and the United States. The company is initially employing 53 people and will hire up to 120 more personnel by 2022.

Under the 2017-2019 Investments Priorities Plan (2017 IPP), production and manufacture of export products is a business activity eligible for BOI registration under Export Activities making it qualified for fiscal and non-fiscal incentives.

Trade Undersecretary for Industry Development and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo welcomed the approval of the project which will be exporting its products to major markets saying “this will further heighten the country’s positioning as a global hub for furniture manufacturing”.

The Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines, Inc. (CFIP), a national group of firms, chapters and affiliates that work together for the mutual benefit and the sustainable growth of the Philippine furniture industry, with the guidance of the BOI, earlier crafted the Furniture Roadmap which envisions the Philippines to a global hub for furniture by 2030. To meet this target, the agency has been supporting the local furniture industry in stepping up efforts to make their products even more competitive in the international market.

The local industry has for example engaged in various programs that can help further advance the skills involved in creating consistently stylish, up-to-date designs, maintaining quality control in its products, and through innovatively using local, sustainable materials. CFIP said that the main strength of the industry is on design, especially the parts and pieces that uses sustainable materials or indigenous components such as abaca, bamboo, coco coir, buri, and pina fiber.

Already, a market abroad exists for Philippine-made furniture and designers like Kenneth Cobonpue have made strides by drawing a prestigious list of international customers. Trade shows regularly held in Manila and Cebu City have attracted a considerable number of foreign buyers who sell the merchandise to prominent customers that include major hotels located in key destinations.

The project is also the first micro and small enterprises (MSE) project approved by the BOI Cebu Extension Office. Pursuant to the Board Resolution No. 25-02 & 28-02 Series of 2016, the Board of Governors has delegated the processing & approval of applications for registration of MSE projects to the Division Chiefs /Officers-in-Charge of the BOI Extension Offices in Visayas and Mindanao. The delegation, which is seen to further expedite processing of applications of MSEs acknowledging their crucial role in inclusive economic growth, became effective starting November 02, 2016, covers projects in the agriculture, services, tourism and manufacturing sectors with project cost of Php 15 million and below.

“The BOI wants to speed up the application and registration process for MSEs to encourage them to be more competitive and innovative as they participate in the global value chains” said Undersecretary Rodolfo.

Relevant data indicated that of the $347 billion value of world production of furniture in 2012, 0.2 percent was accounted for by the Philippines, which shows there is room for the industry to grow.

The industry intends to increase its share in the global market to two percent this year. Under the roadmap, the plan is for the country’s furniture exports to rise by seven percent per market and to climb further by 10 percent this year.

Furniture and fixture exports have steadily increased in the last six years. Figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that from US$131.87 million worth of exports in 2011 it grew to US$202.14 million as of December 2016.