Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), INVEST (2011-2014) is a PhP 139.8-million project that aims to lower transaction costs and reduce the cost of doing business in national and local level regulations and processes, as well as increase the flow of private investment and business start-ups in the Philippines.
Specifically, it aims to streamline business registration process, improve investment planning and promotion in partner cities, and build capacity of the local investment planning and promotions office.
Under the INVEST project is the Cities Development Initiative (CDI) that aims to partly address the disparity in economic growth across geographical locations by assisting first-class cities to act on the binding constraints to local economic development. First three cities identified for the CDI implementation are Batangas City, Iloilo City, and Cagayan de Oro City.
- Component 1 - Streamlining business registration processes
- Streamlined Business Permit and Licensing System of partner cities (Batangas City, Iloilo City, and Cagayan de Oro City)
- Established an efficient Business One-Stop Shop (BOSS) in partner cities
- Developed online business permit application (Batangas City and Iloilo City), kiosk for tax payments (CDO), mobile money (Batangas City)
- Conducted review of permitting and licensing systems for building construction and occupancy, tourism, and fire safety and sanitary inspection
- Conducted review of the Philippine Business Registry (PBR) and its connectivity to CDI cities
- Component 2 - Improving investment planning and promotion in target cities
- Establishment of Local Economic and Investment Promotion Center (LEIPC) and designation of LEIP Officer
- Produced a template for the Local Investment Incentives Code Formulation for DILG
- Contributed to the review and updating of the Local Investment Incentives Code (LIIC) of Partner Cities
- Conceptualization/Action Planning for the establishment of Investment Promotion Center (Virtual and physical)
- Conduct of City Business Forums for partner cities
- Component 3 - Addressing cross-cutting concerns
- Assisted the National Computer Center (NCC) in the formulation of the national competitiveness framework, conduct of competitiveness ranking, establishment of RCCs, and conduct of LCDC
- Assisted DILG in the revision of the guide for the formulation and updating of LIIC and in ICT innovations forum
- Assisted DTI in the assessment of the PBR
- Assisted DOST in the conduct of e-readiness survey