Valred Olsim, the Local Investment Officer designate and current Municipal Tourism Action Officer, presented to entrepreneurs the concept, processes and details of the incentives for investors during the Micro Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (MSME) Development Week held from August 10-16.
Olsim said the local government intends to implement this year the municipality’s Investments and Incentives Code passed in 2017 which intends to attract new investors and sustain existing investments and encourage their expansion to create and maintain a business-friendly environment that will boost economy as it creates job opportunities, increase revenue and income, and provide employment as a way to alleviate poverty.
Incentives are categorized into fiscal and non-fiscal for new as well as existing investors who plan to modernize, diversify or expand their business ventures.
Fiscal incentives include local business tax holiday for two to five years depending on the criteria which they fall. They will also be exempted from permit fees except those that defray municipal services like garbage fees.
Non-fiscal incentives are general assistance which includes networking, identification of suppliers and partners, participation in business promotion events, assistance in the provision of general services including the provision of relevant data, assistance in site validation among others.
Covered in the incentives packages are identified investment priority areas such as agricultural production, infrastructure, tourism facilities, manufacturing and assembly, agri-business and food processing, property development, financial institutions such as banks.
They need to be accredited to be entitled to the incentives, Olsim stressed.
The first step an investor needs to do is to register with the Local Investment Board (LIB) through the Investment Assistance and Promotions Office.
Investor application will be evaluated and approved by the LIB prior to the issuance of a certificate of registration. Upon grant of registration, the applicant has to pay a processing fee.
To date there are about 8,000 entrepreneurs in the municipality categorized as micro to medium.
In encouraging investors, Olsim said, “If money is idle, it does not accelerate economic growth but if invested it produces repercussions in the local economy as it creates livelihood and employs people.” (JDP/SCA-PIA CAR, Benguet)
By Susan C. Aro