“Today marks a significant milestone,” remarked President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., as he expressed his views on the newly introduced executive order to eliminate obstacles and foster business growth in the country.
Leading the launch and covenant signing of Executive Order (EO) No. 18, Marcos emphasized the order’s potential to propel the nation forward, stating, “It is long overdue to have reforms that will not only attract more investments into the country but will also create an environment conducive to business growth and development. So today, we take a huge leap forward, ushering in a new era of efficiency and collaboration within and without.”
Drawing attention to the more efficient and convenient systems in place among Southeast Asian counterparts, the President acknowledged the need for the Philippines to catch up. Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual further elaborated on the executive order’s goals, highlighting its focus on addressing pain points related to business registration, such as lengthy queues for permits and applications. Pascual explained, “The EO is meant to expedite, streamline, and automate government approval and registration processes for priority investments or strategic investments. The strategic investments are those aligned with the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.”
An integral component of the executive order is the establishment of the One-Stop-Action-Center for Strategic Investments (OSAC-SI), acting as a centralized entry point for all qualifying projects.
The Department of Trade and Industry’s Board of Investments outlined the categories of strategic investments, including highly desirable projects recommended by the Fiscal Incentives Review Board, foreign direct investments endorsed by the Inter-Agency Investment Promotion Coordinating Committee, and priority projects outlined in the Investment Priority Plan.
Expressing their commitment to the new executive order, the members of the Investments Promotion Unit-Network, comprising 28 government agencies dedicated to facilitating ease of doing business, pledged their support and collaboration. The covenant emphasized their dedication to working with partner agencies toward the seamless realization of strategic investments, stating, “We pledge to support and collaborate with our partner agencies on the programs, projects, and initiatives of the government toward the seamless realization of strategic investments.”