BUSINESS Process Outsourcing (BPO) and creative industries remain an investment priority for Cebu and the rest of the country's growth centers in the coming years as the export sector continues to limp through the global economic crisis, an official of the Board of Investments (BOI) said.
During yesterday's Investment Priorities Plan orientation for local government units (LGUs) and other industry stakeholders, BOI Governor Gerry Sta. Ana said the board has drawn up a list of priority industries for investment. The BPO industry is a new entry on that list.
?The 2009 IPP has a contingency list and a regular list. Industries listed under the contingency list are those with high priority and are subject for review by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA),? Sta. Ana said.
He said the high employment rate in BPOs and the creative industry like Bigfoot Film Academy in Mactan ensures that they can avail of incentives from the government such as a four-year income tax exemption.
?(The income tax holiday) would be extended if they are shown to contribute significantly to foreign exchange and continue to employ more people as well as use more indigenous material,? Sta. Ana said.
Sta. Ana said this is the government's way of encouraging investors especially foreign entities to set up delivery centers in the country.
Prospective BPO applicants should invest at least US $2,500 per seat covering cost of facilities, building maintainance and renovation among others, said Sta. Ana.
BOI Special Project Department Director Rudy Caña said applications would take 20 days to process.
?If we still need more requirements from them, then they will definitely hear from us and they have to submit those requirements for us to proceed with the process,? he said.
Sta. Ana said the global economic crunch means that the government had to ease export policies to accomodate certain industries.