MANILA, Philippines - Creation of an Investment Promotion Action Center (i-PAC) has been proposed under the Incentives and Investments Code of the Philippines bill, which seeks to strengthen the country's investment strategies by harmonizing incentives to all investors regardless of location and to end the country's image as the laggard in ASEAN in attracting foreign direct investments.
The proposed bill authored by Congressman Albert S. Garcia of the 2nd district of Bataan, chair of the House committee on trade and industry, differs from the other bills pending in Congress which seek to transform the Board of Investments, the country's premier investment promotion and generating agency, into a mere investment promotion agency and be stripped of its regulatory powers.
Three similar proposals are pending in the House Committee on Ways and Means chaired by Rep. Hermilando Mandanas. These are House Bill 4152 filed by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and HB 3162 by Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga) both seeking to rationalize the grant and administration of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, and HB 938 by Rep. Susan Yap (2nd District, Tarlac) proposing the Investments and Incentives Code of the Philippines.
There are also other bills in the Senate including that of Senator Ralph Recto, which seeks to convert the BoI as a promotional agency and transfer its regulatory powers to the Philippine Export Processing Zone.
Notably, the creation of i-PAC is a unique feature in the Garcia bill.
Section 11 of the proposed bill provides for the creation of i-PAC at the BoI to serve as the link to tall government agencies to facility entry, retention expansion and diversification of investments. …