The Board of Investments (BOI) through its Domestic Investments Promotion Service (BOI-DIPS), and the Department of Interior and Local Government through its Bureau of Local Government Development (DILG-BLGD) joined forces in conducting the online DILG Training of Trainers (ToT) on the Crafting and Enhancement of the Local Incentives and Investments Code (LIIC) via Zoom on 19 August 2021. 

With participation on a national level, a total of 55 Local Government Operations Officers (LGOOs), seven (7) from the DILG-BLGD and 48 from 16 regional and selected provincial offices participated in the one-day activity.  

In tailor-fitting the module to the need of the participants, the training provided participants with the necessary knowledge in effectively facilitating the crafting and enhancement of the Local Government Units’ (LGUs) LIIC by making it more relevant, timely and attuned to the needs of investors.  

It will also pave the way for the roll-out implementation of DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-167 known as the Guidelines on Promoting Local Economic Development and Investment Promotion and Establishment of LEDIP Office (LEDIPO)/Unit in all Provinces, Cities and Municipalities which was issued on December 2020 

This is expected to boost efforts and effectively utilize resources in enhancing the capabilities of Local Government Units (LGUs) to improve local economy as the key actor in attracting investments in the localities. The LIIC is seen as an effective marketing tool to boost economic development through the attraction, generation, retention, expansion, and /or diversification of investments and development of local industries and businesses in the area.

“The collaboration has become more relevant and compelling to let the LGUs understand the realization that every locality will compete with each other for its share of investments that will be coming in. It is imperative for the LGUs to draw policy reforms to make their location conducive to businesses through streamlining of business processes making the investment policies transparent, clear and attuned to the times, and anchored on the national investment policies,” BOI-DIPS Director Maria Rosario J Dominguez stressed during the opening session.  

The BOI discussed significant topics such as Understanding the Business Point of View; Attracting Investments to the Area and the Role of the Local Government on Investments Promotion; Incentives under the CREATE ACT/ relevant investment Laws and the 2020 IPP/SIPP; The LIIC as a Tool to Attract Investors and Strengthen LGUs Fiscal Adequacy and Understanding the Salient Features of the LIIC. 

DILG-BLGD Director Anna Liza F. Bonagua, emphasized the important role of the LEIPOs, now called the LEDIPOs, to lead local economic and investments promotion activities among the LGUs. Her message centered on the collection of the national government that affected the national tax allotment of LGUs being low at this time of the pandemic. Director Bonagua said that “this training will give additional knowledge especially now that LIIC will be part of the response to the recovery of the local economy to help the local businesses recover their losses.” 

Moreover, the Department of Finance’s Bureau of Local Government Finance (DOF-BLGF), represented by Chief Brenda Miranda of Planning, Policy and Programming and Standards Division, shared that “Incentives are crucial in promoting incremental investment, creating new jobs and resulting in other social and economic benefits. Thus, incentives should be designed as performance-based, regularly quantified and monitored, time-bound and transparent, and in accordance with the LGU’s financial capacity and spending priorities. LGUs could only grant incentives, within the revenue assigned and should be within the taxing powers of the LGU in accordance with the type of LGU granting the incentives. Other fees and charges imposed under existing city ordinances, on a graduated basis, should exclude regulatory and service fees such as but not limited to garbage, sanitary permit, and fire inspection fees.”  The BLGF provides consultative services and technical assistance to the local governments and public on local taxation, real property assessment and other related matters,   

Mr. Arce Fajardo of the DILG- BLGD, on the other hand, explained the interface of the local government code-mandated plans (such as Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) and the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) and the LIIC. He spelled out that the implementation instruments of CDP’s sectoral development plan and CLUP’s zoning ordinances, can include LIIC to further support the development of an economic or industrial zone 

Overall, participants will be empowered to be more knowledgeable and skillful in developing their LIICs as they consider key factors such as Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP), Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), the allowable local incentives and the national investment priorities. Additionally, they will also be able to balance investor attractiveness while having sustainable revenues among the LGUs. END