PASAY CITY — With the relentless drive to position the Philippines as a premier investments destination in the region, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. together with Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual led the official launch of the green lanes for strategic investments on July 13, 2023 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza.  The green lanes for strategic investments were established through Executive Order No. 18 (E.O.18) issued on Feb. 23, 2023.

In his message, Trade Secretary Fred Pascual, Chairman of the Board of Investments (BOI) and the Inter-agency Investment Promotion Coordination Committee (IIPCC) said, “This E.O. complements our efforts to sustain the country’s strong economic growth by attracting more strategic investments into the country and ensuring faster realization thereof. The green lanes that we have set up will address the barriers across multiple regulatory agencies that hamper the entry and delay the realization of foreign direct investments. By further easing and fast tracking the processes for doing business in the Philippines, we will raise the competitiveness of the country in attracting strategic investments by global enterprises.”

E.O. 18 is a government-wide response to enhance the ease of doing business in the country by expediting, streamlining, and automating government processes for strategic investments.

Its outstanding feature is the provision for simultaneous processing of applications whereby National Government Agencies (NGAs) and Local Government Units (LGUs) that receive applications for permits and licenses are mandated to process the same with the presumption that the relevant documents from other agencies have already been issued and where the applicant firm shall execute an affidavit of undertaking that it has secured the relevant documents from specific NGAs or LGUs and that it shall submit the complete documentary requirements within 30 working days.

This special feature will significantly cut down the processing time for documents needed to start a business in the country.

Further, under E.O. 18, DTI-BOI shall establish a One-Stop-Action-Center for Strategic Investments (OSAC-SI), which shall serve as the single point of entry for all projects qualified as Strategic Investments. OSAC-SI is mandated to identify and designate an investment as Strategic Investment and endorse the same to concerned NGAs, LGUs, and/or quasi-judicial bodies for processing of permits and licenses.

Strategic Investments include highly desirable projects recommended by the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) to the Office of the President (OP), foreign direct investments (FDIs) as endorsed by the IIPCC, and priority projects or activities under the Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP). It also covers the investment pledges presented to the President during his Presidential Visits.

In keeping with the directive of the President on the digitalization of government transactions, the Online Platform for Green Lane Services, developed by the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) and is set to be the dedicated digital platform for E.O. 18 was also launched during the event. This will facilitate green lane applications.

During the event, the Investments Promotion Unit Network (IPU Net) members likewise signed a covenant supporting the implementation of the E.O. 18. The IPU Net is a collaborative network of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) and government agencies that are involved in the setting-up of businesses in the country which includes among others, SEC, DENR-EMB, and DOH-FDA.

During the event, SunAsia Energy, Inc., which was awarded the first E.O. 18 Certificate of Endorsement, designating its 1,300MW Floating Solar Project in Laguna Lake as a strategic investment, also expressed their commitment to provide clean, affordable, and sustainable energy source in the Philippines.

Presidential Adviser on Investment and Economic Affairs Secretary Frederick Go, Anti-Red Tape Authority Secretary Ernesto V. Perez, Department of Energy Secretary Raphael PM Lotilla, and Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin C. Abalos, Jr. also gave their messages of support for the implementation of the E.O. to improve the country’s business environment and bring in more foreign investments.

E.O. 18 was issued on February 23, 2023. It covers all NGAs and their regional and provincial offices, government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs), and other government instrumentalities, as well as LGUs involved in the issuance of permits, licenses, certifications, or authorizations for Strategic Investments.

The launching event was organized by the Board of Investments (BOI) to showcase the special features of E.O. 18 among government agencies and the investing community while emphasizing Government’s resolve and commitment to speed up and ease the entry of strategic investments into the country. ♦
Date of release: 13 July 2023