In the proposed 2020 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) of the Board of Investments (BOI) are economic activities along with the ‘Balik Probinsya’ program—programs aimed at supporting the government’s actions for combatting the COVID-19 global pandemic said Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez on Thursday, May 14.

Having already signed off on the plan, Secretary Lopez said his office has already submitted the proposed 2020 IPP to the Office of the President for President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval and signature.

Secretary Lopez, in a webinar of the Nordic Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, cited “all qualified activities relating to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic” as priority areas in the 2020 IPP.

Such activities include the manufacturing of essential products such as:

1) Medicines
2) Medical equipment and devices
3) Personal protective equipment
4) Medical supplies
5) Consumables such as alcohol and sanitizers, including production of raw materials, semi-finished or intermediate goods and machinery and equipment.

Companies who will reconfigure their manufacturing activities to produce these products will be entitled to tax benefits which are summarised in the proposed 2020 IPP.

Further, the document also listed the provision of services such as, but not limited to, crematoriums, health waste treatment and disposal, laboratories, test facilities, hospitals, and quarantine facilities.

Secretary Lopez also added that investment activities which fuel the creation of new opportunities in provinces outside urban areas are included in the proposed investment priority list for the rest of 2020. Secretary Lopez expressed support in the proposal as activities related to the ‘Balik Probinsya’ program are recommended in the new IPP noting that investments in line with the program may be entitled to an income tax holiday for up to six years.

Back in April, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go proposed to President Duterte the ‘Balik Probinsya’ program which aims to create more economic activities outside the National Capital Region. This in turn would encourage citizens that are living and working in Metro Manila to return to their provinces thus decongesting one of the most densely populated cities in the World.

Balikbayan Media Center
Balikbayan Media Center

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