By Kris M. Crismundo
MANILA, Sept. 6 (PNA) — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has introduced a budget of PhP6.319 billion in the 2016 National Expenditure Program (NEP).
DTI Secretary Gregory L. Domingo presented in the Senate the department’s proposed budget which reflected an increase of 56 percent from the 2015 approved budget of PhP4.060 billion.
Domingo said the bulk of the PhP2.259 billion budget increase will be allocated to investment promotion agencies (IPAs).
At the sidelines of the budget hearing, the DTI chief told reporters that PhP2.106 billion will be allocated to support the Executive Order (EO) No. 796 — signed by former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in May 2009 — for the establishment of the Industry Competitiveness Fund (ICF).
The EO is the government’s intervention to help big ticket locators in economic zones to cope with high power costs for 10 years in order to attract more investments.
On the other hand, requested budget for the Board of Investments (BOI) — the country’s leading IPA — is PhP396 million.
This is 54 percent or PhP139 million higher than the PhP257 million allocation under the 2015 General Appropriations Act (GAA).
Domingo mentioned that PhP10 million of BOI’s budget for 2016 will support in rolling out the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III early this year.
He clarified that the requested budget for CARS Program does not yet include the incentives that will be given to qualified investors.
Some PhP96 million, still under BOI’s budget, aims to increase the capability of the Cottage Industry Training Center (CITC) facility in Marikina City, making it as a regional shared service facility.
Under DTI’s Php6.3-billion 2016 NEP, the Office of the Secretary has PhP3.352 billion or an increase of 2.0 percent from the 2015 GAA.
Requested budget for DTI’s attached agencies such as Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (CIAP) is PhP90 million; Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), PhP43 million; and Design Center of the Philippines (DCP), PhP78 million.
The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the DTI’s export promotion arm, eyes allocation of PhP195 million for 2016, while Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority’s (APECO) budget is at PhP59 million. (PNA)