Negros Occidental provincial gov’t drafts investment code

BACOLOD CITY, (PNA) — The provincial government of Negros Occidental is drafting its investment and incentives code as part of its efforts to attract more investments to the province.

However, 11 towns and cities in the province still don’t have investment codes.

Former governor Rafael Coscolluela, Capitol consultant on investment and promotions, trade and export development and inter-agency coordination, presented a draft of the provincial investment and incentives code to the Provincial Board and Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. Wednesday.

“I am here to help in the deliberation. I’ve already put in my own proposed amendment in the code that will embody the ‘green economy’ principle which means that our investment activities should be geared toward attractive investments related to green investments,” he said.

Coscolluela said he is referring to the sugarcane-based fuel and power production and other related industries that rely on local raw materials especially the province’s primary product which is sugarcane.

“I hope to convince our officials of the ‘green investment’ and when the province finalizes its investment code, we will work with the 11 local government units (LGUs) to harmonize all these,” he added.

Coscolluela said each LGU will hopefully be able to identify their own investment priority areas.

“We don’t want unnecessary competition among LGUs but rather complementation based on the advantages of each LGU,” he added.

The 11 LGUs still without investment codes are Victorias City and the municipalities of Calatrava, Don Salvador Benedicto, Murcia, San Enrique, Isabela, Moises Padilla, Binalbagan, Candoni, Ilog and Hinobaan.

Coscolluela said that when all the LGUs’ investment codes are harmonized with that of the province, they hope to come up with a cohesive investment promotion campaign to bring in new investments and create new jobs for the province.

He also said that he has proposed to the governor to hold an Economic Development Summit before the end of the year.

“So that we can put our acts together with the private sector. As we all know, 2015 is coming and Negros needs to diversify its economy,” Coscolluela said.

In 2015, the tariff for imported sugar will be reduced to only 5 percent. The reduced tax duty, which would mean more cheap sugar coming in to the Philippines, will make it difficult for local sugar producers to compete.