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PBBM unveils ‘green lanes’ for investors

FOR EASE OF BIZ. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. explains his Executive Order No. 18, ‘Constituting Green Lanes for Strategic Investments,’ in launching the ease of business measure Thursday at Hotel Sofitel. Revoli Cortez 

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday stressed the need for reforms to streamline the process of investing in the country and launched “green lanes” for investors to make that happen.

During the official launch and signing of Executive Order No. 18 in Pasay City, Mr. Marcos remarked that to create a conducive business environment, the government should fix its bureaucratic processes.

“It is, indeed, 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,” the President said.

EO No. 18 creates “green lanes” in government offices to facilitate and expedite the processing of investments.

Issued on Feb. 23, 2023, the EO is part of the administration’s eight-point agenda, which mandates all government offices, to expedite the processes involved in the issuance of permits, licenses, and certifications required to implement investments.

“I am confident that the green lanes will pave the way for the realization of many pledges that we have had—including those that I have personally received while abroad—ensuring that they will bear fruit for our people and our nation,” Mr. Marcos said.

According to the EO, the Board of Investments should establish a One-Stop-Action-Center for Strategic Investments which will serve as a single point of entry for all projects qualified as Strategic Investments.

Mr. Marcos said that the creation of “green lanes” will also attract foreign investors into the country.

The green lanes will enable the electronic submission of applications for and the issuance of clearances, permits, payments, certifications, and among other documentary requirements.

“We understand that time is of the essence for our investors and our entrepreneurs. Thus, a streamlined bureaucracy will ensure that our processes are efficient, transparent, and responsive to the needs of these potential investors,” Mr. Marcos said.

The President emphasized that the establishment of green lanes will take the load off the business sector to reduce the delays that can be openings for corruption and wastage.

In his remarks at the launch of the green lanes at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City, the President expressed optimism that his administration can transform the Philippines into an “attractive and competent” business hub.

“We envision a future where the Philippines becomes an attractive and competitive hub for business ventures, where enterprises flourish and thrive, and where opportunities await every investor for every Filipino,” Mr. Marcos said.

He said the initiatives undertaken by his administration would improve the investment climate in the Philippines and enable the country to compete globally “on an even basis.”

“We cannot continue to hide behind protectionist laws and protectionist policies because no country ever got wealthy by following a protectionist policy. The wealth of the nation is defined by the amount of trade that it has gone through. We can look back many centuries, and it has always been trade that has been the key to the wealth of any nation, of any economic system,” Mr. Marcos said.

“It is a continuing application of the principle of whole-of-government response to the continuing challenge of dismantling the obstacles faced by investors whenever they decide to do business here in our country,” he added.

The event showcased the awarding of the first Certificate of Endorsement to SunAsia Energy, Inc. and Singapore-based BlueLeaf Macquarie Capital for the construction of the 1,300-megawatt floating solar project at the Laguna Lake with a total investment of $1.2 billion.

SunAsia, a leading developer of clean and renewable solar energy in the Philippines, in partnership with BlueLeaf and Macquarie Capital, had initially expressed their investment commitment to Mr. Marcos during his state visit to Singapore in 2022.

Since then, SunAsia applied 10 of its projects as strategic investments under EO 18 and availed of the green lane services to expedite the permitting and licensing processes. — Charles Dantes

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