CEBU-BASED furniture maker Maison Galuchat, Inc. has secured approval for the registration with the Board of Investments (BoI) of its P9.13-million venture that seeks to export 100% of its production.

BOI-logoThe registration represents the first approval issued by the BoI’s Cebu extension office involving a micro or small enterprise.

“Maison will manufacture furniture and accessories and export 100% of its production in Asia, Europe and the United States. The company is initially employing 53 people and will hire up to 120 more personnel by 2022,” BoI said in a statement on Monday.

The approval qualifies Maison Galuchat’s project in Cabancalan, Mandaue City for fiscal and non-fiscal incentives under the 2017-2019 Investment Priorities Plan covering the production and manufacture of export products.

Ceferino S. Rodolfo, Trade undersecretary for industry development and BoI managing head, said the project “will further heighten the country’s positioning as a global hub for furniture manufacturing.”

Furniture makers, with BoI guidance, aim to turn the country into a global hub for furniture by 2030. Their goal is contained in the “furniture roadmap” crafted by the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines, Inc. (CFIP), a national group of firms, chapters and affiliates.

The agency has been backing the industry members in stepping up efforts to make their products competitive overseas.

Mr. Rodolfo said the BoI “wants to speed up the application and registration process for MSEs (micro and small enterprises) to encourage them to be more competitive and innovative as they participate in the global value chains.”

Thus far, the Philippines has barely made a dent in the global furniture market, with the BoI saying the country accounted for only 0.2% of the $347-billion value of world furniture production in 2012. The country’s share “shows there is room for the industry to grow,” the agency said.

This year, local furniture manufacturers target to increase their share of the global market to 2%, it added. It said under the roadmap, the plan is for the country’s furniture exports to rise by 7% per market and to climb further by 10% this year.

BoI quoted data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showing a steady increase in furniture and fixture exports in the last six years. Revenue as of December 2016 hit $202.14 million, up from $131.87 million in 2011.

Ahead of achieving its target, the local industry has engaged in programs aimed at helping boost the skills involved in creating “consistently stylish, up-to-date designs, maintaining quality control in its products, and through innovatively using local, sustainable materials,” the agency said.

It quoted CFIP as saying that the strength of the local industry lies in design, “especially the parts and pieces that use sustainable materials or indigenous components such as abaca, bamboo, coco coir, buri, and piña fiber.”

BoI said Maison Galuchat’s venture is the first micro and small enterprise approved by its Cebu extension office.

Since Nov. 2, 2016, the agency has delegated the processing and approval of applications for registration of MSE projects to the division chiefs or officers-in-charge of the extension offices in Visayas and Mindanao.

The delegation covers projects in the agriculture, services, tourism and manufacturing sectors involving project costs of P15 million and below.