The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) seeking to fast track the processing of applications of various housing permits, licenses and clearances such as Locational Clearance (LC), Development Permit (DP), Certificate of Registration, and License to Sell of subdivision and condominium projects.

Signed by Trade Undersecretary for Industry Development and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo and HLURB Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner Antonio Bernardo late last year, the agreement further simplifies business processes and requirements for housing and real estate projects, thereby promoting ease of doing business in the country and making business transactions more investor-friendly.

“It is important that we offer a conducive business environment to investors, a place where they could quickly set up and process their business requirements. An important first step is to make it easy for them to comply with government requirements,” Undersecretary Rodolfo said. “By simplifying business processes and requirements, we make a good signal to the business community and this would entice them to invest more housing projects in the country,” he said.

Under the agreement, HLURB shall regularly provide BOI with copies of all relevant rules and guidelines, and standards on housing and real estates. It will also provide BOI with a checklist of all requirements related to LCs, DPs, CRLS of subdivision and condominium projects.

The agreement also allows duly authorized BOI representatives to assist in the submission and follow up of housing-related applications of projects or transact on behalf of the BOI-registered enterprises including projects that are of economic and environment significance.

HLURB shall also issue BOI applicants a certified true copy of the annotated LS signed by the Regional Director containing the following: annotations on the computation of the social housing compliance required by law; details of amendments pertaining to number of house and lot packages, and lots only that are for sale; and in cases where the LS presented to BOI by the firm does not contain details, a subsequent Certification can be issued by the HLURB to applicant firms within five working days upon filing of an application.

The BOI in turn shall assist its registered business enterprises in the submission and follow up on the applications for LC of projects including the applications for DP and CRLS of subdivision and condominium projects. The agency shall also assist HLURB in disseminating information to BOI-registered enterprises on the requirements for availing LCs, DPs, and CRLS.

It shall also coordinate with HLURB copies of all relevant rules and guidelines and standards on housing and real estate. BOI shall also initiate and enhance systems of linkages and coordination for the facilitation and resolution of issues and concerns between the two agencies.

The collaboration with other relevant government agencies through agreements such as this is one of the various initiatives of the BOI to further enhance its investment facilitation services to clients. The agency, through its Investments Assistance Center, has signed agreements with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Tourism, Bureau of Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health-Health Facilities Regulatory and Services Bureau and the Department of Agriculture to help businesses set up businesses in the Philippines.

Economic and Low-Cost Mass Housing is one of the preferred activities in the current Investment Priorities Plan. Investments approved by the BOI in the mass housing sector in 2016 increased by 53 percent to Php65.46M compared to the Php43.95 registered in 2015. These investments translates to 32,055 in new jobs once operational.