SINCE Typhoon Yolanda struck in November 2013, the Board of Investments (BOI) has approved a total of 27 projects worth P76.19 billion in areas hit by the killer typhoon.
“These investment projects generated around 3,674 new jobs,” the BOI said.
About 95 percent of the registered projects are in energy and power 12 of which are renewable energy, one bunker fuel-fired power plant and one energy exploration project. The remaining 5 percent are shared by the sectors of manufacturing (3 percent), agriculture, forestry and fishing (1 percent), and accommodation and food service (1 percent).
The BOI is implementing a number of initiatives to stabilize and fast track socioeconomic rehabilitation and redevelopment in the areas devastated Yolanda.
Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez said on Wednesday such initiatives augur well for the administration’s socioeconomic agenda of uplifting the lives of Filipinos and attaining inclusive growth.
Trade Undersecretary for Industry Development and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said the power and energy projects are supposed to help stabilize social and economic development in the Yolanda-hit areas.
The BOI Board also approved the inclusion of 134 calamity-stricken cities and municipalities, including those stricken by Yolanda on the list of less developed areas (LDAs) under the current Investment Priorities Plan (IPP).
“The move is intended to encourage more businesses to set up investment activities in calamity-stricken areas, is aligned with the government’s strategy to move into the medium to -term recovery and rehabilitation of areas highly affected by calamities,” Rodolfo said.
Registered projects in LDAs are qualified to receive pioneer incentives and additional deduction from taxable income equivalent to 100 percent of expenses incurred in the development of necessary and major infrastructure facilities, unless specified by the IPP’s specific guidelines.
In partnership with various government agencies and the local government of Leyte, the BOI is leading the implementation of the proposed Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone. The project is part of the strategies under the Copper Industry Roadmap which aims to promote the integrated development and competitiveness of copper and other industries in the context of the ongoing rehabilitation efforts in the region.
The proposed industrial zone aims to promote industry clustering to reduce business logistics costs and ensure a reliable supply of power. Leyte has one of the biggest geothermal power plants in the Visayas.
“The region’s stakeholders were challenged to formulate industry roadmaps to create more high productivity jobs which are vital to reduce poverty, speed up rehabilitation efforts, and transform the regional economy,” Rodolfo said.