The Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) Secretariat has reported that the amount of budgetary support investment promotion agencies (IPAs) received from the national government in the last five years has totaled a whopping P58 billion.
In 2021 alone, the funds received by the IPAs from the government amounted to about P5.07 billion.
The recipient IPAs are the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB), the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO), the Board of Investments (BOI), the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) Group, the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), and the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority (ZCSEZA).
The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and the PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority (PIA) were not included in the list of budgetary support recipients as the two agencies are already self-sufficient and do not receive budgetary support from the national government.
Department of Finance (DOF) Assistant Secretary and FIRB Secretariat Head Juvy Danofrata said during a recent DOF Executive Committee meeting that AFAB allocated 100 percent of its budget to capital outlays or the purchase of new assets, while SBMA and TIEZA allocated 100 percent of their budget to maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE).
In a five-year (2017-2021) average, the BCDA Group, which consists of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC), the John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC), and the Poro Point Management Corporation (PPMC), have received the largest budgetary support at P7.47 billion combined, with 83 percent of its budget allocated to the group’s MOOE.
This is in addition to the authority of the IPAs to exact fees and other charges from their locators and registered business enterprises (RBEs).
According to Finance Secretary and FIRB Chairperson Carlos Dominguez III, “This report only shows that the Philippine government has always been supportive of our IPAs in their operations and investment promotion efforts.”
He added, “It is only right that they [IPAs] maximize the budgetary support they get from the national government, and translate their efforts into attracting more economically stimulating and productive foreign investments, especially in this time of the pandemic, that would create jobs and supercharge our economy.”