Sep 012014

MANILA, Philippines – The creation of the Investment Ombudsman Team (IOT) will draw in more investments in the country, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

“With the establishment of the investment ombudsman office, we advance the policy thrust of the Aquino administration for good governance and transparency, and attract more investors in the country,” DTI Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo Jr. said in a statement yesterday.

The IOT was created by virtue of Ombudsman Office Order 327 effective June 1.

Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang has been named the investment ombudsman of the IOT.

The team is tasked to act on grievances involving delays committed by any of the investment promotion unit agencies in the delivery of frontline services relating to the establishment or conduct of business; complaints in relation to solicitation, demand or request by a government official in exchange for issuance of licenses or permits and release of shipments; complaints on issuance of license or permits to a person not entitled to such; and delays or refusal to comply with directive of the investment ombudsman following grievance proceedings.

Board of Investments – Investment Assistance Center (BOI-IAC) executive director Raul Angeles said the BOI, DTI and its attached agencies have already met with the IOT to discuss the details of the order and set related capacity training programs.

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 This month, the DTI and its attached regulatory agencies are scheduled to brief the IOT on their mandates and functions as well as discuss the investment related issues.

“In line with these administrative arrangements, the BOI is also pursuing cooperative agreements with other government agencies on the joint facilitation of business permits and licenses for its registered firms and applicants,” Angeles said.

The BOI has signed a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau.

It is likewise negotiating agreements with other agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration, Securities and Exchange Commission, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, Bureau of Customs and Department of Agriculture.

“In addition to these initiatives, the BOI will set-up its One Window Network (OWN), a project that will enable investors to make electronic transactions with the agency,” Angeles said.

Through the OWN, transactions with the BOI can be done online by logging on to a website to post queries or complaints.

The posts will be initially scanned and passed to concerned agencies within the network and the investor will be notified on the status.

The BOI is working with the University of the Philippines Information Technology Development Center to design and develop the website and customer relationship management application for the project.

“With these current developments and initiative in delivering our services to the business community, we further encourage economic activity in a competitive setting and increase job creation in the country,” Manalo said.

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