Despite the challenges of the persisting pandemic, attached agencies of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Board of Investments (BoI), and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) have yielded a collective P718.13 billion approved investments for the year 2021.
In its official report, the DTI, as the government’s main economic catalyst in enabling innovative, competitive, job-generating, inclusive business, and empowering consumers, relayed that with the approved investments reaped by BoI and PEZA, about 77,520 individuals were provided with decent jobs.
As an attached agency of the DTI, BoI is responsible for the development of investments in the Philippines, assisting Filipino and foreign investors to venture and thrive in vast areas of economic pursuits and acts as a one-stop shop in doing business in the country.
While PEZA’s one of many functions includes promoting the establishment of economic zones in the Philippines for foreign investments.
The DTI report also cited that in terms of Foreign Direct Investments, its first to the third quarter of 2021 posted a net FDI of $7.3 billion, 43.8 percent higher against the same period in 2020, and averaging as the fourth rank among countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nation for the last five years.
And since the signing of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, which was inked into law by President Rodrigo Duterte last July 2021, the total BoI-approved investments in the country have reached P468 billion.
The CREATE Law or Republic Act 11534 cuts corporate income tax rate to 25 percent from the current 30 percent, provided that corporations with net taxable income not exceeding P5 million and with total assets not exceeding P100 million, excluding land on which the particular business entity’s office, plan, and equipment are situated during the taxable year for which the tax is imposed, shall be taxed at 20 percent.
Amidst the fluctuating cases of Covid-19 cases last year, making the government impose lockdowns several times, Philippine exports surged to $64.5 billion, growing 16.1 percent in January to October 2021, clinching 5.7 percent growth higher than the pre-pandemic average of the same period from 2017 to 2019.
Also, the construction industry has also posted significant growth when it contributed 17 percent to gross domestic product in 2021, which has generated an average of 4.4 million or 10 percent of the country’s total employment.
Further, the report noted that there were 15,925 issued licenses to contractors, up by 2.5 percent compared to the same period last year.
As innovation had become the silver lining of the pandemic, e-commerce in the country has ballooned, proving this was the more than 859,772, business name registrations logged by the Trade Department last year.
Of the total, 775,746 were new registrants, while 84, 026 were renewals.
And with the DTI’s program CTRL+BIZ, it supported and accelerated 187,010 Filipinos to dwell in e-commerce, by providing 217 learning sessions to over 42,000 participants.
The DTI has also launched e-commerce 2022 PH Roadmap to drive industry growth by ensuring an easy, simple and fast engrossment of Filipinos on technology.
Other projects for the digitalization efforts of the DTI include the launch of the Artificial Intelligence Roadmap and the establishment of Regional Inclusive Innovation Centers and the Philippine Skills Framework.
Covid-19 loans for MSME
Through its Covid-19 Assistance to Restart to Enterprises (CARES), the DTI, through its lending arm Small Business Corporation (SBCorp.), has approved a total of P6.16 billion to 37,224 micro, small and medium enterprises’ (MSME) borrowers.
Moreover, the SB Corp. has distributed P264.92 million for its CARES for Tourism Rehabilitation and Vitalization of Enterprises of Livelihood; P107.04 million for 13th pay loan assistance; P49.02 million for overseas Filipino worker’s enterprise start-ups; while its Pondo sa Pagbabago, the DTI has released P8.71 billion meant for 226,280 MSME.