By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio (The Philippine Star) Updated June 04, 2010 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines - Less than a month before the end of the current administration, the government is now ready to implement the new Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) for the year.
In a press conference, Board of Investments (BOI) managing head Elmer C. Hernandez said they will be publishing the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the IPP tomorrow.
He said the new IPP will be implemented as soon as the IRR is published.
Under the IPP, the government will be giving incentives in order attract manufacturers of steel products to invest in the country and to drive down the price of steel. “We will be opening incentives to all flat products, Hernandez said.”
He added they will also be registering new finishing mills for cement. The existing cement manufacturers may qualify for incentives if they have 85-percent total capacity utilization.
“We want to give the public affordable quality cement,” he noted. “The existing players only have 59-percent capacity and yet they are increasing their prices.”
Arguments between the government and cement players have delayed the formulation of the IRR with industry players complaining that the government is giving undue advantage to potential new entrants to the market.
On the new section of the IPP, the Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Recovery Projects, Hernandez said this covers projects that will mitigate the adverse impacts of calamities and disasters which may include installation of flood control systems, installation of early warning systems for typhoons, earthquake occurrences, tsunami and volcanic eruption.
Likewise, he said this includes the manufacture of goods critical to disaster management, construction of dikes, salvaging operations and installation of power generating and auxillary equipment.
On energy, Hernandez said they are now stricter in the granting of incentives to privatized plants. This is not limited to just the purchase of the plant. There must be a rehabilitation of the facility and efficiency must be increased.
The IPP still features job saving/ creation projects, including firms affected by the global economic crisis.