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Dominguez to BOI: ‘Get out! Don’t sit and wait’

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III has expressed dismay over the Board of Investment’s (BOI) failure to attract foreign companies that were moving their productions out of China.

MB file

Speaking at the virtual 46th Philippine Business Conference and Expo, Dominguez said that the investment promotion agency is just “waiting” for companies to come to the country, instead of directly talking to the investors and do its job as a marketing agency of the government to attract foreign investors.

While Dominguez clarified during the discussion that he was not criticizing the BOI, the government’s chief economic manger still believes that the agency “does not see itself as a marketing organization.”

“The most important thing is to talk directly to these companies that have the potential of moving out and offer them,” Dominguez during the virtual forum participated by members of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).

Dominguez generally likened the BOI mandate to that of a hotel owner.

“Like if you’re in the hotel business, you don’t just advertise and say, ‘okay, come here, we’ll wait for you guys.’ You have to make offers. You identify [your potential clients] and offer them a deal,” the finance chief explained.

Dominguez said that aside from formulating investment rules, the BOI should go out and negotiate with “high-tech” industries that create a lot of jobs and transfer technology to Filipinos.

The finance chief cited as an example the manufacturing of camera lenses, which demand has grown multifold in the smartphone sector.

“How many cameras are there usually in a cell phone? At least two, possibly three, and sometimes four. You know we don’t have a single lens manufacturer in the Philippines,” he admitted.

“Why doesn’t the BOI go out and say okay this is the industry we want to bring in, it is high-tech,” he said. “Rather, they sit down, write the rules and expect everybody to come.”

Dominguez said “that is not the role of the BOI. The BOI should be going out, identify the industries that we want. Identifying the companies that we want to bring in, and offering them our package of incentives.”

This is not the first time Dominguez called out the BOI.

To recall, the BOI had opposed the DOF-backed Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, formerly called corporate income tax and incentives rationalization act (CITIRA).

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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