By Daphne Galvez, November 29, 2022; Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines — To facilitate economic operations in the Philippines, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is expected to sign an executive order (EO) establishing a “green lane” for strategic investments.

According to the Office of the Press Secretary, the pathway will make the country competitive with other Southeast Asian nations in attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs).

The move, the OPS said, comes after the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) presented to the President the proposed EO on creating a “green lane” for strategic investments and identified the barrier across multiple regulatory agencies that hamper the entry of FDIs in the country.

The EO will mandate concerned agencies to establish a “green lane” to expedite and streamline the process and requirements for issuing permits and licenses, including resolving issues concerning strategic investments.

It will cover all national government agencies and their regional and provincial offices, local government units and quasi-judicial bodies involved in issuing permits and licenses necessary for establishing strategic investment projects in the country.

These agencies are mandated to act on business applications no longer than three working days in the case of simple transactions; seven working days for complex transactions, and 20 working days for highly technical transactions from the date of receipt.

“This is a big thing. It will address the ease of doing business that firms have been complaining about us,” Marcos told DTI officials during a meeting in Malacañan Palace, as quoted by the OPS.

The OPS said the following are the  strategic investments identified by the DTI:

-projects of national significance

-highly desirable projects endorsed by the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) and FDIs endorsed by the Inter-Agency Investments Promotion Coordination Committee (IAIPCC)

-priority projects or activities under the Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP) that may be endorsed by the Board of Investments (BOI) of the concerned Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs)

The OPS said a technical working group headed by the DTI’s Board of Investments would implement the EO.

Meanwhile, a BOI-Investment Assistance Service (BOI-IAS) will become the single entry point for investments availing themselves of the green lane services endorsed as nationally significant or highly desirable projects.

Non-compliance with the EO’s provisions will be a ground for administrative and disciplinary sanctions against any erring public officer or employee, as provided under existing laws and regulations, Malacañang said.