DTI hopes new ombudsman team will spur investment

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THE newly created investment ombudsman team is expected to boost investment in the country further, strengthen investor confidence and build an enabling business environment for foreign and local investors, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

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By virtue of Office Order 327, series of 2014, which took effect on June 1, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales created the Investment Ombudsman Team (IOT) and named Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang as the Investment Ombudsman of the team.

“With the establishment of the investment ombudsman office, we advance the policy thrust of the Aquino administration for good governance and transparency, and attract more investors in the country,” DTI Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo Jr. said.

Manalo noted that consistent with the goal of the government to attract more local and foreign investors, providing speedy action on investment-related grievances and complaints of existing and potential investors will also elevate the country’s global competitiveness ranking.

The Board of Investments, DTI and its attached agencies already met with the team to discuss the details of the Office Order and set related capacity training programs, said Raul V. Angeles, executive director of the BOI Investment Assistance Center (BOI-IAC).

This September, the DTI and its attached regulatory agencies are scheduled to brief the IOT on their mandate and functions and to discuss the coverage of investment-related issues.

“In line with these administrative arrangements, the BOI is also pursuing cooperative agreements with other government agencies on the joint facilitation of business permits and licenses for its registered firms and applicants,” Angeles said.

To date, the BOI has already signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB), and is currently negotiating agreements with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), Bureau of Customs (BOC), and Department of Agriculture (DA).

“In addition to these initiatives, the BOI will set up its One Window Network (OWN), a project that will enable investors to make electronic transactions with the agency,” Angeles said.

Angeles noted that through this planned initiative, transactions with the BOI can be done online through computers and mobile phones. An investor can log on to a website to post queries or complaints, which will be initially scanned and forwarded to concerned agencies within the network. Then the investor will be notified in real time.

At present, the BOI is working with the University of the Philippines Information Technology Development Center (UP-ITDC) to design and develop the website and customer relationship management (CRM) application for the project.

“With these current developments and initiative in delivering our services to the business community, we will further encourage economic activity in a competitive setting and increase job creation in the country,” Manalo said.

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