The Philippines is poised to attract more innovation-led and technology-driven investment projects as President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed Executive Order (EO) Number 22 extending the capital equipment incentive for qualified business enterprises registered with the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI).

Signed on April 28, 2017 and published in the May 18, 2017 issue of the Manila Bulletin, the order is effective for one year. The order replaces EO 70 that expired on May 9, 2017.

Under the EO, qualified BOI-registered business enterprises are exempt from paying duties when they acquire capital equipment from other countries classified under the specific chapters of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines. The duty exemption however will only be granted upon the issuance by the BOI of a Certificate of Authority to the importing company. The privilege however strictly applies to equipment not manufactured locally or of insufficient supply domestically and for the exclusive use of the registered firm.

Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said the grant of the capital equipment incentive remains an important measure in further promoting and driving more high-value, impactful, and socially-relevant investment projects into the country, especially for companies that are just in their start up years and those that are expanding or modernizing their facilities.

“The measure also augur well with the agency’s 2017 Investment Priorities Plan which encourages more innovation-driven and job-generating investment projects that will eventually lead us to modernize the Philippine economy,” said Undersecretary Rodolfo.

With the theme “Scaling Up and Dispersing Opportunities,” the 2017 IPP brings forth significant additions and changes, aligned with the President’s Zero + 10-point Socio Economic Agenda, the aspirations embodied in AmBisyonNatin 2040 and the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022. Apart from innovation-driven projects, the new IPP also include broad changes including further emphasis on 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.