NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRIN EDITION.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan on Friday has approved in second reading Provincial Ordinance No. 004-2021, amending the Bohol economic development and investment code in the new normal, Provincial Board Member Jade Bautista said in her fb post.
The economic measure was approved during the regular session on Tuesday presided over by Vice-Gov. Rene Lopez Relampagos.
The approval also came after a fine tuning of the provisions of the code during a public hearing called by Bautista, chair of the economic enterprises committee.
The measure lays down the objectives, creation of the investment body and provides for fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to the investors.
Enhance the competitiveness of the local investment; Provide the Provincial, City and Municipal Local Governments with a guide to draw local and foreign investments in priority areas; Improve the investment environment through reforms in legal and regulatory environment for investments are among the general objectives of the Ordinance.
It also “direct all LGUs that consultation with various sectors is imperative so that necessary safeguards to protect the environment, ensure the health and safety of the community, and social safety nets for micro, small and medium enterprises, are guaranteed.”
Under section 4, the Ordinance covers: (a) All persons, entities or enterprises, belonging to micro, small, medium and large-scale categories in preferred areas of investments; (b) All Local Government Units (LGUs) in the Province; and (c) All Local Economic Development and Investment Promotion Offices/ Units (LEDIPO/Us) in coordination with the City/ Municipal Planning and Development Office, Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) and other relevant local and national government agencies.
Investment Priority Areas
COVID RELATED ACTIVITIES
It also provides all qualified activities relating to the Fight against the COVID – 19 Pandemic, such as: (a) Essential Goods —- Production or manufacture of medicines; Medical, surgical and laboratory equipment, devices, supplies; Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); Consumables, such as but not limited to, sanitizers and cleaning materials.
(b) Essential Services includes Crematorium; Columbarium; Modernization of hospital laboratories; Test facilities, Hospital, medical and healthcare facilities; Quarantine facilities; and Cold Chain Storage Facilities.
(c) Green business — Provision of environment-friendly products or services; and Establishment of facilities using environment-friendly processes or clean technologies in the manufacture/ assembly of goods
The measure (section 28) provides for financial or budget that shall be included in the annual provincial budget for the operations of the board and the Bohol Economic Development and Investment Promotion Office (BEDIPO).
Section 29 provides for penal provisions. “Any violation of the provisions of this Code, existing laws, ordinances, rules and regulations; or material misrepresentation made by any registered enterprise shall be ground for cancellation or revocation of the Certificate of Registration of the project/business. The cancellation or revocation of the Certificate of Registration shall mean the withdrawal of all the incentives granted under this Code; and the Board may, in appropriate cases, require that all fees and charges previously exempted shall become due and demandable.”
Section 31 says BEDIPO shall promulgate Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) within 90 working days from its effectivity.
The Board is composed of the following: Governor – chair; Vice-Guv – executive vice-chair; BCCI president – vice-chair; and Members: Provincial Administrator; Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator; Provincial Treasurer; Provincial Assessor; Provincial Legal Officer; Chairman, Committee on Trade and Industry, Sangguniang Panlalawigan; Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer; Provincial Director, Department of the Interior and Local Government; Provincial Director, Department of Trade and Industry; Head, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office; Head, Bohol Environment Management Office; President, League of Municipalities of the Philippines – Bohol Chapter; President, Bohol Association of Non-Government Organizations (BANGON), Inc.; President, League of Local Planning and Development Coordinators of the Philippines, Inc.
Sectoral Representatives to board are the following: from agriculture, information and communications technology/ business process management (ICT/ BPM), tourism, education, and health and wellness shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Board upon the recommendation of the Board through a majority vote.
BM Jone Jade A. Bautista is the sponsor of the measure and co-sponsored by BMs Romulo G. Cepedoza, Ricky U. Masamayor and Vice-Governor Rene L. Relampagos.