Aimed at expanding business opportunities in northern Luzon, the Board of Investments (BOI) shared knowledge relevant to the local government units of La Union province on investment promotion during the Investments Policy Briefing and Counseling Webinar recently (November 29, 2021).  

Executive Director Bobby Fondevilla, in his opening remarks, commended the “proactive initiatives” of the La Union local government units (LGUs) in promoting the province as an investment destination, as the country is heading to the new normal and opening up its economy to foreign investors.

Citing a large volume of tourists visiting the province, the BOI official emphasized the need for the right mindset and collective action to harness the full potential and the “hidden gems” waiting to be discovered in La Union.  

Executive Director Fondevilla expressed his optimism that the information imparted by the speakers in the webinar would be used to practice strategies in effectively boosting the competitiveness of the province as an investment of choice.  

“I am positive that soon, the province will realize that its ambition will come to fruition,” he stressed, urging the local government unit to continue coordination with the national government to make business opportunities happen in La Union. 

While La Union Governor Francisco Emmanuel Ortega III thanked the BOI for being a “steadfast partner” in pursuing a better business climate for the province. Such webinar, said the governor, showed the commitment and eagerness of the La Union LGUs to push for economic recovery from the pandemic through effective policy crafting and marketing strategy.  

On behalf of DTI Provincial Director Merlie Membrere, Lilian Ma. Elena Difuntorum, Chief Trade and Industry Development Specialist, acknowledged the assistance of the BOI to “firm up” the province’s investment activities.  “Rest assured of our continued support of all investment activities in La Union,” she said.  

Danela Bautista, BOI Investment Specialist, discussed the updates on government policies for investments, particularly the investment priorities of the national government. She then reminded the LGUs to extend assistance right away to the potential investors at the inquiring stage and at the stage of securing business permits. 

Lubin De Vera Jr., BOI Supervising Investments Specialist meanwhile told the LGUs of the pertinent roles they play in investment promotion in the country, emphasizing that the general knowledge of the local and national policies is an invaluable tool of the investment promotions such as being informed on the CREATE Act, the local incentives and even the process of granting mayor’s permit.   

“BOI recognizes the vital role of LGUs in attracting investments in the countryside,” said the official, as he described the LGUs as the first contact with investors “down the ground.” “Investment promotion is everybody’s business,” he added, explaining that such initiative covers all activities and measures aimed at creating favorable conditions to infuse investments into the cities and municipalities.  

Additionally, he encouraged LGUs to establish their respective Local Economic Development and Investment Promotions Office (LEDIPO), as it serves as mini-BOIs at the local level. Also, the LGUs should have consistency in their policy, he added, urging them to update relevant information on their area for the investors.  

At the concluding part of the program, Edilberto Nunag, BOI Chief Investments Specialist, urged the LGUs to sign a Memorandum of Agreements (MOAs) with the BOI to rack up investments in the Philippines.  

Charito Dator, the LEEIPU-Head, assured that they would explore different avenues to promote La Union as the heart of agri-tourism in Northern Luzon.  

Chief Nunag, in ending thanked the participants of the webinar as it was a sign of the commitment of the La Union LGUs to prepare its economic front liners for the new normal. “This is just the start, what will happen next is important,” he added, saying that LGUs should come up with better strategies in the promotion of cities and municipalities. 

The BOI assured continued assistance to La Union through complementing efforts and collaboration towards more investment opportunities to the province. “Let’s unite as one and make it happen,” the BOI official concluded. END