Bohol Investment Board (BIB)

The Bohol Investment Board (BIB) chaired by Gov. Erico Aumentado recently endorsed two proposed economic zones to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza).

These are the Frankho Saltern Corp. Properties and the Gershon Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Inc.

Frankho has a 120-hectare area in Barangay Achila in Ubay town. It intends to go into lime processing as well as establish a Jatropha processing plant.

On the other hand, Gershon has 50 hectares, 30 of which are contiguous, in Barangay Tanghaligue in Talibon town. It intends to expand its pharmaceutical laboratories, preferably with a foreign partner, and set up a carrageenan processing facility.

It also intends to go into agricultural research and development, particularly on carrageenan and DHA, an additive for milk, as well as lactose byproducts.

The site is adjacent to Barangay Bagacay, which already has a municipal port – making it doubly ready for when it decides to export its products.

Maria Fe Dominise, head of the Bohol Investment Promotion Center (BIPC) that is the secretariat of the BIB, says economic zones provide physical and non-physical incentives to developers. They enjoy attractive incentives from PEZA and the Board of Investments like waived gross taxes and duty-free imports of equipment.

Local governments also provide incentives. In the case of Bohol, she said on top of realty tax holidays, among others, it also offers assistance in complying with documents and their processing in order to attract investors.

A plus factor in setting up economic zones, she added, is that Peza and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) also locate in the area, making subsequent document processing even easier. - June S. Blanco