The government has extended a whopping P58 billion in budgetary support to investment promotion agencies (IPAs) between 2017 and 2021, according to the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) Secretariat.
Last year alone, the IPAs received P5.07 billion from the government.
The recipient IPAs are the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB), the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO), the Board of Investments (BOI), the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) Group, the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), and the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority (ZCSEZA).
FIRB Secretariat Head Juvy Danofrata said that AFAB allocated 100 percent of its budget to capital outlays or the purchase of new assets, while SBMA and TIEZA allocated 100 percent of their budget to maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE).
Danofrata, who is also assistant secretary of the Department of Finance (DOF), said the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and the PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority (PIA) were not included in the list of budgetary support recipients as the two agencies are already self-sufficient and do not receive budgetary support from the national government.
The BCDA Group, which consists of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC), the John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC), and the Poro Point Management Corporation (PPMC), have received the largest budgetary support at P7.47 billion combined during the five-year period, with 83 percent of its budget allocated to the group’s MOOE.
This is in addition to the authority of the IPAs to exact fees and other charges from their locators and registered business enterprises (RBEs).
Finance Secretary and FIRB Chairperson Carlos Dominguez III said the government has always been supportive of the IPAs in their operations and investment promotion efforts.
“It is only right that they [IPAs] maximize the budgetary support they get from the national government, and translate their efforts into attracting more economically stimulating and productive foreign investments, especially in this time of the pandemic, that would create jobs and supercharge our economy,” Dominguez said.