The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) is now finalizing the general policies and specific guidelines of the 2017 Investments Priorities Plan (IPP) following the approval by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte of the plan on 28 February 2017.The IPP, approved through Memorandum Order No. 12, was published in the March 3, 2017 issue of Manila Bulletin and will take effect on March 18, 2017.

The IPP was approved as proposed by the BOI. The submission to the Office of the President on December 29, 2016, three months ahead of the March 31 deadline under the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987, and the subsequent approval of the new IPP is a milestone for the agency.

Trade and Industry Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez welcomed the early approval of the new IPP saying “this development is concrete proof of the administration’s decisiveness to further propel the growth of investments and job generation in the country and attain sustainable economic growth”.

The IPP is a list of priority investment activities that may be given incentives. With the theme “Scaling Up and Dispersing Opportunities,” the 2017 IPP brings forth significant additions and changes, following the President’s zero + 10-point Socio Economic Agenda, the aspirations embodied in AmBisyonNatin 2040, and the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022. Broadly these changes include further emphasis on innovation-driven and job-generating businesses; inclusive business for agribusiness and tourism; broadened coverage of manufacturing; information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services for the domestic market and telecommunications services for new market players; environment and climate change-related projects; LGU-initiated PPP projects; drug rehabilitation centers; state-of-the-art engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services; and the lifting of geographical restrictions for most agriculture and tourist accommodation facilities.

Formulated through a participative, analytical, and multi-sector process, the new IPP is expected to generate more investments to strengthen manufacturing resurgence and create more jobs as targeted in the PDP 2017-2022. The BOI-approved investments grew 20.4 percent in 2016, reaching P441.8 Billion from the P366.7 Billion registered in 2015. This is the second highest since 2000, with the highest registered in 2013 at P466 Billion. The 20.4 percent growth also exceeded the agency’s 7 percent growth target for 2016.

The BOI is set to conduct IPP Roadshows in key cities all over the country to be led by Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo to inform and promote to the various stakeholders the salient features of the new IPP.