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Marcos Issues Executive Order For Investment ‘Green Lanes’

Marcos Issues Executive Order For Investment ‘Green Lanes’
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. speaks next to World Economic Forum president Borge Brende during a session at the Congress Center during the WEF annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 18, 2023. Photo by Agence France-Presse

To further promote the Philippines as an investment destination, President Marcos has issued an order directing the establishment of green lanes for strategic investments in all government agencies.

Signed on Thursday, Feb. 23, by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin for the President, Executive Order 18 covers all national government agencies and their regional and provincial offices, as well as government-owned and controlled corporations and other government instrumentalities.

It also covers local government units and those involved in the issuance of permits, licenses, certifications or authorizations covering strategic investments.

The move is consistent with the Eight-Point Agenda of the administration and is “part of the continuing efforts of implementing ease of doing business reforms,” as “it is imperative to adopt measures that will expedite transactions with the government.”

The EO specifies strategic investments as those aligned with the Philippine Development Plan or any similar national development plan and can be characterized by significant capital or investment in the country.

Strategic investments – according to the EO – are also those with consequential economic impact, positive impact on the environment, significant contribution to the country’s balance of payments, with complex technical processes and engineering designs and will improve the country’s infrastructure capabilities.

They also include highly desirable projects, foreign direct investments and projects or activities under the Strategic Investment Priority Plan, it said.

Within six months from the issuance of the EO, the Department of Trade and Industry-Board of Investments (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.

Aside from addressing investor concerns such as identifying strategic investments, the OSAC-SI will also include aftercare or post-investment assistance as part of its services, EO 18 said.

The DTI-BOI, within three months from the issuance of the order, shall produce and regularly update an investor manual or guidebook or its equivalent, containing the list of government requirements for the establishment of strategic investments per sector, as well as the concerned NGAs, LGUs or quasi-judicial bodies issuing relevant permits and licenses.

“The DTI-BOI will be supported with additional manpower, including the designation of Account Officers for Strategic Investments, as well as equipment necessary to operationalize the OSAC-SI, in coordination with the Department of Budget and Management,” the EO read.

It also directs the Department of Information and Communications Technology to make available to LGUs the software for the computerization of the business permit and licensing system, with the help of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

A Technical Working Group (TWG), to be headed by the DTI-BOI, will be formed to ensure the implementation of the order.

Member agencies of the TWG include the DTI, DILG, Department of Finance, National Economic and Development Authority and the Anti-Red Tape Authority.