CIPO shares investment challenges, opportunities for Cebu

The Cebu Provincial Investment and Incentives Board Meeting at the Capitol Dignitaries Hall last Nov. 23 highlighted the 2015 accomplishments of the Cebu Investment and Promotions Office (CIPO).

Benjamin Joseph Yap of CIPO also shared in the meeting the challenges and opportunities of the office for next year.

According to Yap, an economic fact book for Cebu that contains economic and investment-related information will be published early 2016.

Once the Board approves, CIPO is now ready to accept application for investors who want to avail local incentives.

IMG_1705[1]The Office has also conducted business matching activities for foreign companies. Yap said that the Sri Lankan business matching was successful and that they are eyeing Cebu for potential tea plantation.

Yap presented to the Board its proposed organizational structure to meet the demands of the business sector in Cebu. He said that the lack of staff poses one of the challenges in providing investment facilitation in Cebu. Including Yap, the five-man CIPO team is not enough to handle big responsibilities concerning investments for the entire Province of Cebu. He added that the office needs qualified and competent individuals that could handle responsibilities well and that can help CIPO in making Cebu a top investment destination.

Raymund Java of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority Cebu also expressed concern on the coordination of local government units (LGUs) as its main challenges in attracting investors.

However, Yap assured him that the collaboration meeting with the Local Economic Investment and Promotions Officers (LEIPOs) and DILG will surely improve the coordination, including the highly-urbanized cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue. Yap is hopeful that more LGUs will join in the LEIPO network in order to have organized activities for the Province.

Next Steps

Yap also discussed its upcoming activities including the roll-out of the Cebu Midwest Ecotourism Project and the Local Government Support Program for Local Economic Development in the first quarter of 2016. Both projects highlighted eco-tourism as its driver for local economic development.

He announced to the group that the Aloguinsan community has been awarded by the Pacific Asia Travel Association as this year’s winner of Tourism InSPIRE Award for Best Community-based Tourism Initiative in Asia Pacific.

He also said that the LEIPO network will provide CIPO easy access to information. In return, CIPO will provide capacity-building trainings and technical assistance to the LGUs in crafting their Local Investment and Incentives Code. Yap believes that such cohesive action will make Cebu an attractive investment destination. July Anne Guibone