Gov't Revisits Omnibus Investments Code

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The government is reviewing for the first time the implementing rules and regulations of the 1987 Omnibus Investments Code (OIC) to refine the criteria that govern the grant of tax incentives to investors and industries as the Board of Investments is trying to craft a more focused and longer-term Investment Priorities Plan (IPP). Trade and Industry Undersecretary and BOI managing head Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. told reporters during a press conference on Friday that BOI has started reviewing the OICs IRR. The review will be completed by January next year, he said. We have to refine the criteria in the IRR of the OIC because the IRR has not been reviewed since 1987. We are going to release the new IRR by early next year, Cristobal said. According to Cristobal, when the OIC was passed in 1987 by the new government of then President Corazon Aquino, it has in mind the manufacturing sector not services, it wants to promote large brick and mortar investments but times changed. A manufacturing sector can create lots of jobs than in the services sector but he said these two can no longer be compared because one cannot apply, in terms of capacity, the auto parts company to a software company. So if we follow strictly the existing IRR of the OIC, we really have to refine the criteria set under the rules, he said. The OIC is the basis for the grant of incentives to investors and industries that the government want to attract and promote. As such, it directed the BOI to head in the crafting of the annual IPP, which identifies the preferred economic activities that are entitled to government tax incentives. The need to create more jobs in the manufacturing sector to provide jobs to the less educated has also pushed government to rethink of its industrial development strategy. …