By Anna Gabriela A. Mogato

THE BOARD of Investments (BoI) and the Department of Finance-Bureau of Local Government Finance (DoF-BLGF) have signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) to ease up the process for BoI-registered firms registering for local business tax (LBT) exemptions.

In a statement on Tuesday, Dec. 12, Trade undersecretary and BoI managing head Ceferino S. Rodolfo said, “The sustained economic growth of the country benefitted from policy reforms and increased collaboration to improve the ease of doing business in the country.”

“The country’s current investment climate should benefit not only firms — whether foreign and domestic, large or small — but society at large,” he added.

Through the MoA, the DoF-BLGF documents which BoI disseminate would include local finance and memorandum circulars, local tax opinions and rulings, real property tax opinion and rulings on local treasure-related issues as well as assessments at the provincial, city and municipality level.

In turn, the DoF-BLGF will also have access to the list of BoI-registered companies.

The MoA will also require regular coordination between the two agencies to fast-track transactions between the enterprises and the government, with BoI personnel authorized to assist enterprises in dealing with local government units.

According to BoI, both non-pioneer and pioneer BoI-certified enterprises are exempted from paying LBT for a period of four and six years, respectively, but this has not been followed.

The DoF-BLGF is the agency tasked with helping sustain local economic growth and handling investment-related concerns of enterprises among the local governments.

Aside from the MoA with the DoF-BLGF, BoI also signed MoAs with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environment Management Bureau, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Tourism, Securities and Exchange Commission, Health Facilities regulatory and Services Bureau of the Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, and Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board.