‘No regular employees? No incentives for new investors in Bukidnon’

Bukidnon News.Net official Logo for site2MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/26 March)  Investors intending to avail of the incentives in the proposed new investment code of Bukidnon should declare that they intend to hire regular, not just contractual laborers, from the province, board member Jay Albarece said Monday.

Albarece, SP committee on labor and manpower services chair, said it is useless to attract investors who bring in jobs but  do not boost employment with security of tenure in the province.

In the second week of committee deliberation on the proposed amendment to Bukidnon’s investment code of 1995, Albarece proposed to insert the word “regular” in Section 21 a.4 to ensure that the investments also bring benefits to workers.

“That the new enterprise will provide, out of its (regular) labor force requirement and employment of not less than ten (10) persons in case of a small scale enterprise, at least twenty (20) persons in case of a medium scale enterprise and at least one hundred (100) persons in case of a large industry who are bonafide residents where the enterprise is located,” the proposed subsection states.

He said the small enterprises refer to those with capitalization from P3-10 million; medium, from P10-P100 million; and large, from P100 million and above.

The new investment code, is proposed to be entitled “an ordinance creating the Bukidnon Investments and Export Promotion  Board and granting incentives to investors and new investments in the province of Bukidnon”, and for other purposes.”

Albarece said generally it seeks to give exemptions to real property tax on equipment and land.

He admitted that the requirement might not appear too attractive to new investors.

“But we are just asserting the minimum requirements of the (Labor) law,” he added.

Board member Clive Quiño, who chairs the committee on education and civil service, said the real property tax share of the province may be waived in the granting of incentives to investors.

“But it only refers to the basic property tax. It should not include the portion that should go to the special education fund,” he added.

Board member Nemesio Beltran, proponent of the amendments, said Tuesday the insertion added by Albarece was accepted at the committee hearing early Monday afternoon

The Province of Bukidnon needed to revise its 18-year old investment code for it to be more competitive, Roderico Bioco, president of the Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry told the Bukidnon Sangguniang Panlalawigan, in the first week of the committee deliberations.

Bioco cited the need to be competitive “given the environment of stiff competition” where Bukidnon enterprises needed to compete with those in other provinces.”

Bioco cited that a new investment code creates proper environment for enterprises to prosper, create more jobs, earn revenues, and push for development in general.

He explained that the goal of the amendments is to come up with realigned investment plans parallel to that pushed by the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Interior and Local government, and the business sector.

Bioco cited three highlights of the amendments proposed by the Bukidnon Investment and Export Promotion Board – the composition of the board, funding for the board, and details of the investment priority areas.

The business community through the investment board pushed to reconstitute the board with more members from the business sector.  (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News)